Thursday, March 3, 2011

All Kinds of Ghost Towns

Recently, I had to catch a flight at 6:30 am at Denver Airport. Rather than try and wake up early, I thought it might be better to just head over there in the middle of the night when there would be no rush hour traffic and I could just get the do it yourself boarding pass and breeze through security. I figured I could just nap by my gate and I would be all set.

I was quite surprised to discover that the airport was basically closed during the early morning hours. Even the do it yourself boarding pass computers displayed signs that said that they would not be available until after 4 am. The security gate did not open until 4:30 am. There was only the Burger King open at that time of day, and other than the other lost traveler like myself, the only other people there were the cleaning crew.

There was an eerie feeling to being in the middle of what is normally a very busy public space with all the stores, bars and restaurants closed, no ticket agents at the desks, no throngs of travelers milling about trying to find their gates, or checking the boards to see if their flight will be on time.

A place like this is never really empty. There is always a residual energy from all of the people who have used the place. It can never really be empty because all of those energies and emotions leave a residue that still flows through the place even in the middle of the night when there are no flights taking off and no one appears to be there besides the cleaning and maintenance people.

It is a different sort of ghost town, sort of like one of those old mining towns that went bust a hundred years ago, except that this one comes back to life every 24 hours.

Or maybe it is just a result of the 24/7 world that we live in that we think of certain places as never shutting down. Of course, when the silver mines and gold mines were booming and everybody seemed to be heading for the mountains with a pick, a shovel, a pack mule and a gun, the little towns that outfitted them looked busy all the time too.

Amazing the things that come to you when you simply arrive in a place at an odd time and you sleep in short bursts awakened by energies that seem both familiar and strange before dozing off again. There are all kinds of ghost towns.

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