Saturday February 2nd. I’m flying out of Memphis to Europe. The Amsterdam direct has been suppressed a while ago, so I’m flying through Atlanta. Come to think of it, that afternoon there are only 5 alternative destinations. The outbound flights fit in less than half a screen – the other 3 are empty.
I’m strolling through concourse (don’t you love that word?) B on my own and by my own. The terminal is empty. Nobody there. If you’d like to imagine how it is to be alone on the planet, this is the place to be. What a contrast with a couple of years ago. Memphis used to digest 250 flights per day. Now, 95 flights on weekdays are considered busy days. Since Delta swallowed NorthWest in 2010, Memphis International Airport slowly became a regional airport.
The renewal of the tarmac and the absense of workers on the ground add an apocalyptic dimension to it. I’m standing on a moving sidewalk, looking at a mix of earth and concrete. Aerobridges lead to nowhere. Vehicles are left behind as if some viral disaster hit the aerodome. This is Moonbase Alpha. No, this is Moonbase Delta.
I walk in to Sun Studio Cafe, sit at the bar and tap myself a Blue Moon…