Anyone At All
Gen Del Raye

 

This is the moment. Walking out the automatic doors into the searing summer heat. One bag each, a handbag and a little duffel, as though coming back from a jaunt in the city even though we’re walking out of an airport through the doors marked INTERNATIONAL and there are taxis, shuttles, people with signs – Kikuchi family, Roberts reunion – all of them waiting for us. We could be anybody, and the waiting people know it. They search our faces, they try to see through our sunglasses, they try to sort out our features from the flecks of light cast by our loosely woven hats. I planned it that way, planned it meticulously, this moment. I even coached Saya on the plane ride over as to what we were going to do. Still, I’m watchful, and when I see her hand reach toward her bag where I know she keeps her guidebook and her everyday phrasebook – how do you say, How to get to Union Square? – my fingers get there first and stop her. I scan the signs too quickly and too casually to read them so instead I stare straight ahead and, acting as if I know where I’m going, I lead her across the road and then to the right on the raised median where people are lining up for taxis and past that too, towards what I don’t know and don’t care. There will always be time to figure that out later. We walk past the tourists and past the woman who looks like a dispatcher who turns toward us but doesn’t speak because she can’t decide what to make of us. We walk past the flight attendants piling into a van that will take them to their hotel, past the bus driver grabbing a smoke before he has to drive his route, past the baggage handlers taking a load off their feet before they start the rest of their shift, past the panhandlers waiting in the shade for the heat to wear off, and all of them look at us and then they look away because they too can’t decide.

We could be anyone, I think. In this moment, we could be anyone at all.


Gen Del Raye
grew up in Kyoto, Japan and lived there until he was eighteen. Currently he is studying marine biology in Honolulu, Hawaii. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Monarch Review, Kentucky Review, Pithead Chapel, and others.