11:30 AM at the Phoenix Airport. Baggage claim.
I am crumpled on the floor from the weight of a long day of travel. Using my purse as a makeshift pillow, I close my eyes for a minute to dream of my bed. I'd do anything to be back at my parent's house right now, anything to escape this building filled with ghosts of moments passed.
I stare at the carousel, willing it to produce our bags so we can go home. The board says our luggage is arriving, but it lies. And I lie on the floor, wishing I could leave already.
There are a few bags left over from the flight before ours. They loop around in endless circles, waiting to be claimed. But aside from my family and a couple other passengers, there is no one here. So these bags keep passing. Around and around, around and around.
The buzzer sounds, indicating new baggage is coming out. My family's suitcases slide down, one, two, three, four. The other passengers collect their bags as well and the conveyor belt stops. But as the sparse crowd dissipates, it's clear that there is no one left to claim the original few bags that were passing. Around and around, around and around.
As I leave the baggage claim area I can't stop thinking about those leftover bags. They belonged to someone at one point, didn't they? And now, now what?
Trying not to be dramatic, I attempt to stop the connections I'm drawing in my head between the leftover luggage and me. But I am dramatic, so I can't stop myself.
I am that baggage left ownerless on the carousel. Around and around, around and around. Baggage left unclaimed, luggage lost. But I belonged to someone at one point, didn't I?
And now, now what?