Fiction

Remember airports?

Remember airports?

Oh my god, don’t.

Airports.

Yeah, I don’t miss those places at all.

Really? I love them. Once you’re there. You’ve done everything you need. And there’s nothing left but to sit back and let the time pass. Just, wash over you.

Exactly. It’s boring.

It’s a relief.

There are better ways to relax.

What, like face masks? Or a mani-pedi?

You know what I mean.

Or a massage? Remember massages?

Like a movie.

In a cinema? Remember those?

Everyone eating from the same big tub of popcorn?

It’s sharing a cheese plate that I miss.

God, all those fingers in all those mouths. We used to blow all over birthday cakes then eat them, too.

Exactly.

We are a disgusting species.

You know I dated a masseur once? Or, what’s the word, masseuse? Does anybody ever say that?

What, masseuse?

Yes. Masseuse.

No, it’s definitely –

If you say lady masseur, I’ll –

Okay, masseuse. When was this?

A few years back. I swiped right because of it. It sounded…

Hot?

I was going to say unusual. Instead of all the gender studies students and folk musicians. But yeah, hot too. Never got a massage though.

That’s a shame.

We had a giant fight in a bar one night about vaccination –

Oof.

And I sort of stopped answering her texts after that. I mean, I don’t condone ghosting –

Queers are better than that.

Exactly. But it kind of felt inevitable given the circumstances … I wonder how she’s going, with all of this?

Probably the same as the rest of us.

 

*

 

There are plenty of three-bedrooms. It’s such a good time, we could probably get a three-bedroom.

We don’t need three bedrooms.

But we could probably get them. That’s all I’m saying. Property’s not about what you need.

I guess.

There was an inspection on my street last week, one big long line of people in pairs. A metre and a half apart, the whole way down the street.

Which house?

Oh, it was a rental. The pink one, near the corner.

I like that house.

They weren’t selling.

Still. I used to love walking in to open houses. Any that I passed. Just wandering in, and pretending I was interested. Legit.

It must have taken hours. Agent was letting them in one group at a time.

I just like looking, you know? Imagining what it would be like to be the person who lives in that place.

It’s not hypothetical when you’re buying.

Fuck. Guess not.

The agent was probably humouring you.

What?

They know when you’re a time-waster. Wouldn’t be able to do that anymore.

 

*

 

Problem is, when there’s no imports there’s no imports, you know.

Yeah, it’s hard to get any at the moment.

And everyone was getting arrested for a while there. Pretty obvious when you’re driving around at 3am during a lockdown.

That’s how my guy got done. Had heaps on him, too.

I bet demand’s up.

Yeah.

I mean, the prices are astronomical.

And it’s not even good.

Real shame, that.

Yeah.

 

*

 

I don’t know, exactly. How it happened.

I don’t think it’s uncommon. Like, three of my friends got pregnant, and two more are engaged.

Jesus. I would’ve thought the very idea of home-schooling would be enough to put people off having babies.

Right?

I mean, congratulations to them and all that.

Don’t you think it’s hard to tell, though? Like, if it would have happened under normal circumstances? If it’s … convenient, rather than real?

I don’t know. I mean, I know what you mean. It probably wouldn’t have, to be honest. It’s something about all of that time. And the way that everybody’s circles kind of shrank.

Yeah.

But, I dunno, turns out we just really like each other.

You didn’t know that before?

Well, yes, but … Well … Not in the same way. I mean, you spend all this time together. More than either of us would, normally, and –

It’s okay, you know. It’s cute.

It’s just weird.

Like, artificial?

Like, unexpected.

Well, all of this was unexpected.

I mean, I’m gonna drop an L-bomb.

Oh my god.

I just haven’t decided on when. 

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Aug 22, 2020 as "Remember Airports?".

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Fiona Wright is an author and poet.