When I think back, the whole thing is a blur. Seriously: a blur. Notable because I’m pretty observant but at time like this….well Heathrow is a world unto itself, right? And there I was, waiting amidst a thousand other weary travelers just like me, anxious to get through customs, unintelligible announcements blaring overhead. My brain must have just gone offline, refusing to absorb any more of this tiresome mix of noise and tension and tedium.
So: one big bureaucratic blur except for this bizarre thing, this bright tiny detail. The woman in the next line, a few steps ahead of me—she held something in her hand and it caught my attention. Whatever it was glinted in the light, like a shiny metal edge but way more intense, unearthly and brilliant, a white light full of color like a crystal but much, much sharper. It seemed to go directly into the center of my brain. What was it? I’ll never know, because her line moved ahead while mine stood still, and the light disappeared. I cocked my head so I might catch it again but all I saw was her charming smile as she handed the customs officer her passport, nodding, making small talk and then in an instant she was on her way, high heels clicking smartly down the corridor.