Monday, May 21, 2007

The Empire of the Senses

“We touched the ground at JFK …”
from U2’s “Angel of Harlem”

"I wish I could sleep like that," admired the red-haired man from North Carolina. He was referring to my blissfully long sleep from Narita Airport in Japan all the way to JFK in New York.

"You'd sleep like that," I revealed to him as my squinted eyes adjusted to the bright cabin lights, "if you’ve not slept for two days."

We touched the ground at JFK at exactly 2:12 pm (U2's "Angel of Harlem" was playing in my head) nearly an hour ahead of schedule coz of the way the earth turns and the blowing wind as explained by the purser). I picked up my hand carried luggage and bade goodbye to Mr. North Carolina who harrumphed about switching flights for the umpteenth time.

I exited JFK and stood outside for a minute to look around. Guys in dreadlocks. Kids in replica Yankee pinstripes. People chatting rather noisily in their own language. There were biker dudes, chic couples, a couple of guys in turbans, and the high-pitched tones of some kababayans speaking in the vernacular.

I knew I was home.

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