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As a rule, I hate airports. Not that superficial, 'I'm tied up in a line with a squalling infant' sort of bothersome irritation, but true, deeply ingrained hatred of the entire system of entering and exiting a plane. If this was so even before the underworld decided to start crashing planes into national monuments, you can imagine what I feel now, in the absolute stranglehold of security which one now must face.

When you spend as much time as I do in such places, you begin to recognize the finer edges to that specific reality. You can almost taste the emotions seeped into the cheap floor tiling and taupe walls. Airports are all about desperation and loss.

The missed connection, the security strip search, the separation from family. Each person has smothered their expectation in a myriad mixture of sorrow, guilt, fear and abandonment. Each child who enters is made a temporary orphan, each wife a widow. The pilots hide studious prayers that things will not go wrong behind several hundred pre-flight procedures, a delusional sacrifice which is ritualistically (if not hygienically) little better than divining about the insides of a chicken.

Ever since I've known him, Charles has always flown in private charters. Does his mind feel that knife of emotion more keenly here, I wonder? Does the PSIon receive not just the emissions of active minds, but also the residual echoes from those gone before? Memo to myself: e-mail Professor Yamagori and Professor Richards on possibility.

So, I am taking the train up to Westchester. There is an inferior red and a quite surprising Chicken en Papillote in my future, according to the brochure. I once heard a rumour that they serve food on the plane. I have yet to see proof of that. I really must secure a vehicle once I arrive. If you find the atmosphere of an airport unspeakably despondent, you can only imagine the horrors that travel with a taxi.

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Dr. Nathaniel Essex

April 2013

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