A piece inspired by the writing style of the famous American author Ernest Hemingway. His style, while at times a point of contention in the literary world, is uniquely concise and radically to the point. Some refer to his prose as implementing the “Iceberg Theory.” In short, this means that the true impact and importance lies beneath the surface of the more simple words. To Hemingway, I would argue that less was more if that meant the story itself could be the takeaway and not just the way the words were written. Inspired by this simplicity, I wrote this piece in hopes of doing the same.
I had never seen an airport that small. We could see the whole thing as we sat and waited. We waited impatiently. We had planned to leave much earlier.
Within a matter of minutes, the buildings looked like ants. After a few more we were in Dallas. We rode a tram. We ran. We walked some. We were in an airport for the first time by ourselves. We ran some more. Then we arrived at terminal C, gate 9.
“We’re experiencing difficulty with the safety equipment aboard. Your plane will be delayed. Sorry for the inconvenience” said the voice from above.
“Welp” I said.
“We ran for no reason” Evan said back.
The terminal was full and there were no seats. The floor by the windows was empty. We sat there. Sat and wait, that is what we did. That is all we could do. Now, there was a slim chance we would make it on time. We both knew it. We didn’t say it though. There was no need to. I looked out the window. Then I felt something crawling on me. I was sitting in the cracker crumbs that a family of ants were enjoying. Apparently, I was in their way. Evan and I moved.
“Are we going to get to see him?” I finally asked.
“I don’t know.”
“What time does he come on?”
Just breathe I thought. You will board shortly. You are going to make it. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to.
“Ladies and gentleman your plane will begin boarding in ten minutes.”
It is six. To fly to Atlanta from Dallas takes two hours. Google Maps says the airport is 30 minutes away from Piedmont Park, and we have to check into our hotel before. It is going to be close. Anticipation and waiting are a strange pair. Sometimes you wait and you could care less what happens next. This was not one of those times. We wanted to know if we were going to get to the concert on time. We paid good money for this. This wasn’t just a concert. This wasn’t just some musician. And he doesn’t play just any music.
Something about walking through a tunnel and onto an airplane is unnerving. At least to me it is. Evan did not seem phased though. Then again a lot of things bother me that he handles easily. Evan offered me the window seat. I took it and looked out the window. He offered me one of his earphones.
“This is T-Swift’s new song.”
I listened. The song had a good beat. We danced together, then we laughed. That wasn’t a song you really listen to. You just dance along. Considering we were in an airplane, our dancing was limited.
“This is a good song to jam to” I said.
“Yeah the lyrics are kind of weird. But I like it.”
There are lots of things you can like but not love. Things can serve a purpose but not necessarily be joyful. There are also things that are exciting for no good reason. If you are lucky you will find something that does both. Then we listened to our go-to, John Mayer. Some things appear to be purposeless until after they are over. Sometimes you get the pleasure of seeing something’s purpose from the beginning.
I don’t remember the music that was playing in the Atlanta airport. I just remember we were running. We once again ran for no reason. We sat again. We waited for forty-five minutes for our cab driver. He was supposed to be there thirty minutes before we arrived. He was supposed to be waiting on us. Obviously that night he was not waiting on anyone. That is, until he drove us to the downtown Marriott. It wasn’t his fault. Nothing was anybody’s fault. I tried to remember that.
I had never seen a hotel that tall. We stood in the middle of the lobby looking up in awe. The different floors seemed to go on forever. It looked like a beehive. Simultaneously we realized we looked like little kids. So together we walked to the front desk. We paid with Dad’s credit card. We got the room key. We rode up 41 floors. We opened the door and put our stuff down. At this point we both felt defeated. It was already 10:15.
“What should we do?” he asked.
“Should we still go for it?”
I bounced off the bed and ran out the door. Evan followed. Somehow, we were once again running. Before we knew it we were down the elevator. We flagged down a cab and hopped in.
“Piedmont Park please.”
As we rounded the corner we hit heavy traffic. Everyone in Atlanta was apparently going to the music festival too. In ten minutes, we moved two blocks at the most. Walking there was now our best bet. We climbed out and booked it. We went down 14th street and turned right on to Piedmont Avenue.
We ran to the side of the park that he was playing. We could hear the music. Just as we made it, the concert ended. Swarms of music lovers flooded out of the park. They came from all around. We looked at each other. We learned a lot that day. There was a reason we ran. There was a reason we missed the concert. We both knew it. There was no need to say otherwise. So we turned around and walked back together.
“At least we get to see a bunch of good bands tomorrow.”
“Yeah. That’s true.”
“I would do it all over again.”
“Yeah. Me too.”