Nikon FA 50mm series E Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Over the summer my niece Jamie flew out from the east coast.   I went to LAX to pick her up.  Me being me I arrived early, as I'd rather be early than late.  I wandered into the baggage claim and beheld the scene above...a baggage claim which I have only seen filled with yammering, boisterous, tired from the flight, anxious to grab the bag and get into the traffic people instead, completely empty.  No bags on the carousel, no carts denting the walls, no people pushing other, weaker people out of the way so they can get their bag with the purple tassel on it before it gets picked up by the wrong person.  Just an empty, quiet room with a really shiny floor.  

I took the shot then wandered out to the place where I was to meet Jamie.   By the time her plane arrived and she made her way down to where I waited this place was full of the above mentioned crowd, and I waited the interminable wait surrounded by the din.

It wasn't until I developed the film and scanned the photos many weeks later that this photo hit me square in the face.  Airports are permanent temporary places.  They exist as places we spend as little time in as possible while we make our way somewhere else.   The baggage claim is perhaps the epitome of this for me, because while the terminal has entertainment and food and magazines and is designed for waiting, the baggage claim is for getting your bag and leaving.  There is none of that other stuff (except in Vegas, but Vegas is not of this earth).  You get in, you push people out of the way and grab your bag with the tassel and get the heck out.

Yet here it is in repose.  Here it is as IT waits.  It waits for us.  It waits for the crowd, for the din.  It waits until the time that it can make you wait.  This interval must be pretty brief.  If you've ever  watched the planes come in to LAX you know that. 

I feel lucky to have seen it.