Airport is male. He has legs below the terminals, the tubular type with plastic-knob shoes, but you can’t imagine his arms. The windows of the arrival hall are his eyes, the automatic doors into the departure hall his mouth. He wears an apron made of planes. The control tower and hangar are not part of his body, so whenever he goes anywhere, they are left waiting on the tarmac.
Airport awoke as Intercom crackled: ‘Control Tower Ralph To Airport, Do You Copy Over!’
A plane, again? Airport did not feel like answering. He had been dreaming of an executive lounge where they served drinks with special straws named after famous actors. He wanted to go on a Holiday and see the actors in the films they played on the long-haul flights. Ah, to live a life of leisure like the lucky elite, instead of being a regional Airport with concrete hair. That would be grand.
Airport knew it would be hard for him to go on Holiday. There weren’t many planes that went to the sort places that Buildings like to go, and those planes were normally reserved for important Buildings like Big Ben. But he had heard that the local Hospital had been on a trip once, to see the Hanging Gardens! Somewhere in his mind, near the cafeteria, a plan began to form.
Airport needed to get to Hospital. His father had been an Accountancy Firm and frugality still ran deep, so he decided against taking a Taxi. He started walking down a long causeway towards the Airport. He could see the Big City Buildings on either side. Some of the Buildings were famous Historical Landmarks, but he didn’t want to get distracted. The Hospital was a Long Way.
The Causeway got longer and longer, and the sun got lower and lower, Airport realised he wasn’t going to make it to the Hospital in time for something. Nearby, there was a Train Station. He went inside and got in the queue for the Train with his friends from High School. But when he got to the platform, he realised he wasn’t wearing his apron, and he had left his luggage carousel at the Hotel. He wasn’t going to make it.
Airport realised he was having an anxiety dream. He woke up, and went to Hospital on foot. Despite being awake, he was still wearing his train-driver overalls. On the way to Hospital he searched his database and found his antipodes map so he could imagine catching a plane to the very opposite side of the world. The database asked him to enter his current location. He entered ‘Hospital’. The other side of the world turned out to be in the Ocean.
Airport thought Hospital was probably female, but it was hard to tell. The windows in the children’s ward facing the park could have been acne. The ramps into the emergency department could have been the Alpine Slopes of her nose? Perhaps Hospital was a rare example of a municipal building with no gender. He would have to be careful with pronouns.
‘Hello!’ he said. ‘I’d like to go on Holiday to the Other Side of the World, and not sink. Can you help?’
It turned out that Hospital used sign language to communicate, instead of words. Hospital waved their gynaecology ward around in an attempt to warm Airport about Drip Pricing. Hundreds of pregnant women were thrown against the walls. Airport searched his database and realised that he did not know sign language. He was worried that Hospital was going to hurt someone and regretted asking for their help. He reached out to stop them, and there was a collision. Hospital accidentally smashed Airport right in the departure lounge. He groaned.
This isn’t going to work, Airport realised. I am never going to get admitted into Hospital. I don’t even know what diseases an Airport can get. The next time they go on Holiday I will not be able to come along. Oh, to be an Airport is a trying Irony. Everyone I ever see is going somewhere, but I cannot.
Airport waved goodbye to Hospital and knocked over a Significant Tree. Then he saw a Jumbo overhead. It was the 82, coming in from Singapore. It was time to get back to work.