I have this slight inkling of what you’re going through.
All you want to do is run off the plane–you’ve been cramped in that space for hours (Thank God it was a direct flight)–but you know that the process of returning to your homeland is nothing but “hurry up and wait.” On the other side of those doors, only a few hundred meters away (heck, this is America, let’s say “yards”) is your home: in the arms of people you love. Yet, all these damn lines and paperwork prevent you from seeing those faces, despite the obvious proximity after so many months away. All you can do is try to be patient. Perhaps pray a few decades with Mary as you watch the passports ahead of you being stamped with an abrupt “thunk” every few seconds.
Oh, that stamp. Some day you’ll look back on it–“Admitted. United States Customs. September 30, 2008”–and think about this day. The waiting in line. The ability to listen to conversations around you and comprehend the language fully. One day the sight of that stamp will cause the past months to come flooding back–the smells, the letters, and tears, and the blissful nights with wine.
Next you’re on to the baggage claim. You hardly even care about it at this point. Material goods don’t mean as much as the people on the other side of that door…which is now closer, but still blocked by those men in Mylar vests. Wait…still no bag. Everyone else is looking over-tired too.
Eventually it makes its way around the baggage carrel (that looks like it might be fun to ride. Part of you wants to be 5 again so you can and it wouldn’t be weird.) You mount that oh-so-familiar bag on your back. Perhaps for the last time for a good while. Wait in yet another line to had the Mylar men a form that promises you aren’t going to poison the country.
And then comes that corridor. The doors are at the end. So are the crowds of people. Amid which are two faces you cannot–will not–live without.