Fall 2006 • Vol. XXVIII No. 4 Fiction |

Wait

Waiting Lounge 19A in Wing D of Terminal 4 is precisely full. The airline personnel smile. The loudspeaker voice says that the flight will begin boarding shortly; the announcement is in English, the woman's accent a mix of Portuguese, Dutch, and Malay. A Canadian accountant snaps his briefcase shut and stares out at the fog that is settling on the tarmac. The fog is dense and gray and certain. He glances at the passengers seated to either side of him—an old Bulgarian man working a crossword puzzle, an older Honduran woman fast asleep—then at the statue in the center of the lounge, a naked boy holding a cell phone and some sort of globular tropical fruit. The plane is now invisible, but the smiles of the airline personnel do not wane. The accountant wonders if his futures market holdings back home are headed for contango or backwardation. He shivers, walks from his seat to the windows, presses his fingertips to the pane. The pilot and crew stride into the lounge, consult

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