The airport’s fire alarm had been going off for nearly twenty minutes before I finally started getting into its rhythm. Not once did anyone around seemed worried by the 90s drum-and-bass styled warning for us to get to safety. The man sitting at the table across from me eating his toasted airport sandwich looked annoyed. How could he not feel the beat? My feet had begun to move uncontrollably. If it wasn’t a security risk to leave my bags unattended I would have turned the small dining area into a dance floor. The fact that there could actually be a fire had taken a dramatic fall from the things that were on my mind.
I went through security, taking off my jacket, glasses, and belt, swinging the latter around me as the alarm continued its ubiquitous blare. A women in front of me was made to take her shoes off before she stepped through the metal detector and I saw her bare toes jump up and down like piano keys with each pulse of the alarm. She felt it too. It might have just been a technical malfunction and there might not have been a fire in the airport, but there was a small, unattended fire in our hearts. Another alarm buzzed and a uniformed man asked me to step through the metal detector again. I obliged, poorly moonwalking my way back as the offending change in my pocket ch-ch-ch’d together like maracas.