Friday, December 27, 2013

On Airport Fashion

She had seen this face so many times. So many travelers had worn it. Like any look, some wore it better than others, but the raw elements were all the same. The eyes were sleepy but defensive, as if daring anyone to acknowledge their appearance at all. Nostrils slightly flared; not enough to be immediately noticeable. The mouth a grim line, with just a hint of a snarl now and then. There were always lines around the mouth, ghosts of smiles that had not been freed from their cages for the better part of the last 24 hours. The skin of this face was blotchy and red in the cheeks - but not a hint of the rosy glow of cosmetics to be found. The men wore a sprinkling of uneven stubble across their faces as if it had been an afterthought just barely remembered before leaving the house yesterday - or was that today? The women kept their hair pulled back haphazardly. Every so often they would make some gesture as if to somehow transform it into something more reminiscent of a hairstyle, but the commitment to following through was lacking. 
The uniform of this individual was functional at best, and rarely met the standards even of this adjective. Closer to something one would wear to bed after sitting dejectedly on the couch alone all evening eating junk food and reminiscing about past mistakes, this outfit rarely made appearances into the real world. And yet this subculture prowled around airports in presumably week-old sweatpants and bland hoodies speckled with coffee stains that the wearer occasionally made a small show of noticing, for the sixth time since putting it on, to hopefully help their observers to imagine that maybe there were times when they were not so shameless.

Yes, she had seen this face countless times in countless airports, but never, until this moment, on her own reflection.

1 comment:

  1. I may have tried to pull that look off once or twice before.... Great post!