Sponsored by Verizon. As I sit at the airport across from the charging station I look directly ahead of me. Sitting directly 10 feet in front of me is a very beautiful woman. She sits, her hand resting over the retractable handle on her cheap, Target-born luggage. Not even American Tourister. She looks about 26–or 36. It’s hard to tell these days. She is raceless. Her lavender fleece demures her slight, cute frame.
Probably Asian. Weird.
Her phone charges as she sits, angled away from the station hunched and facing the passing crowds. Away from the mess the power outlets make. People huddle around them as if it’s a garbage can fire burning unsold streetwise newspapers. Somebody needs a fix. They stack over and snake around each other like the plugs and cables they withdraw from backpacks-with-wheels and gym bags. I wonder what she is thinking.
“He probably can’t wait to see me.”
“Who the fuck is this stud looking at me, typing and sitting on the apron of the people mover?”
For a moment Verizon loses… Then Wins.
Only once has she checked her messages or emails or tweets or what-the-fuck-ever. And in that moment she looked exactly like the man in that oversized blazer/khaki/oxford combo, that little idiot girl in the headphones, that mother who looks at her and smiles and considers her own life over, or the Asian couple I assumed was a couple because they were sitting next to each other and sucking on the electric pipe til their pupils dilate. They don’t even notice her. They actually don't notice each other. I notice I'm prejudiced.
Her chin rests on her hand: "I don’t need to check it. Nothing has happened."
People hunker down around to recharge and reconnect with the world that does not live here and. They remain ignorant of their place in this painting framed perfectly for and by Verizon. As do I. Which is why I watch them. I sit, a parasite to power parasites.
She gets up after putting her sporty, ear-wrapping headphones on and I realize how slight she is. Still pretty. Not Asian. Weird. I’m usually good with that. She walks out into the world she no longer hears. She is replaced by a man who click-clacks in all black like an accountant for a Gamestop that his dad owns.
Click clack click…
A cute girl I deemed asian earlier lifts her head as a young man chats her up. She’s a Latina. He is human. She laughs. And puts her phone down. And forgets about her boyfriend. He charms and it is clear he will not get her number. Perfect.
Verizon loses. Twice.