Like the road, the airport is a nonplace, something encountered on the way to going somewhere else, better measured in time – always too long – than in square feet. Now that it is unsafe to hitchhike, and affordable to fly, the terminal makes a better canvas for transition or self-discovery. As such, it is the setting du jour for our narratives of romance, longing, adventure and intrigue.
“It’s unlegislated territory,” Mr. Iyer said. “It’s a psychological limbo that becomes a meeting place of the human and posthuman – people are meeting loved ones, sending them off to war, meeting for funerals, all in the midst of a network of Body Shops, Sharper Images and other stores whose names even speak of displacement.”