16. madrid

IMG_1158John enters the Sala lounge in Madrid Barajas airport and notices a slight anxiety creeping in. He grabs some food at the buffet, then watches the others sitting quietly. He wishes that he could be more like them and less neurotic.

As I was writing I started to remember, as a child, how much I loved it when the flight tickets arrived in the post just before the family holidays. Dad and I would go through the accompanying documents, together working out what time we should leave the house and check in at the airport. Sometimes, we’d take the ferry to the Continent and as we drove onboard, being eaten up by the huge industrial whiteness inside, i felt so incredibly excited. Out on the deck, a few minutes later, I’d smell the fuel emanating from the funnel. And anticipating the holiday to come with its absence of school uniforms and homework, all this felt like a place that I just never wanted to leave.

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