A little girl plays with her mother’s hair.
She twirls it in one arm and lets it go like a wind-up toy.
Her hazel eyes gaze into the window of a Harrods, the store’s iconic bear staring back at her.
She’s enchanted by the plush toy, hypnotized.
Next to the family is an older man, probably Spanish or Portuguese.
His cardigan suggests he was once a professor but his face resembles that of an artist, a Picasso or a Neruda.
His arms are crossed, a worn messenger bag is tucked between his feet.
On his right arm is a bracelet.
A memento from a grandchild or a reminder of a distant friend. A friend that might be waiting on the other end of his boarding pass.
Next to him, an Indian woman.
Her intricate earrings match the pattern on her sari, her solemn eyes stare wistfully into the distance.
She’s looking for someone, thinking about someone. Her feet rest on her suitcase. Feet that show experience like rings on a tree.
I’m just a fish in the ocean.
The fly on the wall.
The traveler in the airport.
After six hours here, I’ve stopped seeing people.
I only see stories.
They may not be true, but they’re real.
For this is Heathrow, the world’s truly international airport.