Projects Archive

Missed Connections | GSP

It is so hot and humid, my sunglasses immediately fog upon exiting the shuttle to the Delta terminal at the Greenville-Spartanville airport. It's mid-afternoon on a Friday afternoon and I'm eager to fly home. I'm also extremely tired. I woke up at 4:30am to go for a run before the humidity drowned the morning. Yet despite my planning, I finished in an absolute drench and I've been depleted ever since. Throw in six hours of work meetings too, and all I want to do is collapse into an air-conditioned airplane and fly straight home toward my own bed.

My legs are heavy as I walk through the security line at GSP. The airport is under a major renovation and it's going to be amazing when it's complete. On this day, however, it seems... broken. Temporary walkways, construction detours, and partially completed walls interrupt what would otherwise be an autonomous commute. Most of the shops are closed and in their place are pop-up vendors to provide the bare essentials to travelers. Like five-dollar bottles of bottled water. Adding to it all, I feel as though I'm moving between some strange planes of existence representing yesterday and tomorrow; the old pieces of the airport clashing with the newly renovated bits as I make my way through the terminal.

Partway to my departure gate, I pause to look outside. There, ripples of heat look as though they're melting the tarmac. I can feel the warmth just by pressing my hands against the window glass. My phone buzzes and pulls me back to the here-and-now. An app delivers the good news that I'm able to catch an earlier flight to my connecting destination. It's not home, but it means I'll have enough time between evening flights to sit down for dinner. I'll take these little wins, especially since there's nothing to do and nothing to eat in this half-completed concourse. Others around me must feel the same way. I overhear a man on his phone telling someone he'll be arriving in Atlanta earlier than expected. From what I can tell, the person on the other end receives this news well, and soon, a conversation ensues between the two of them about a surprise dinner together. I can't help but wonder how many others I'm travelling with will be joining someone special for dinner. Perhaps flying into town for a surprise visit? Maybe, even, reconnecting with a previously missed connection?


My fascination with airports stems from the temporal nature of our interactions in these spaces. In airports, the collisions of our lives with one another happen only for the briefest of periods. All of us, individually, passing through any given airport on any given day, in combinations never to be naturally duplicated again. What are the chances, then, of finding someone again after we leave?

After capturing these images, I searched through the "Missed Connections" section of the Greenville Craigslist looking for personal ads that included the string "GSP." Some of the results are presented here as complements to the candid images taken on June 29, 2016 when I passed through the Greenville-Spartansburg airport.

I was waiting outside for a ride. You came up to me and talked to me about the crane across the street and mentioned that you had lived in Boulder and Germany. You were traveling with your dad. You’re so hot. I hate that I had to leave in a hurry.
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "GSP, You Talked to Me About Having Lived in Boulder"
You were a short, pretty lady behind me. I started talking to you because I was very attracted to you. I hope you read this and get back to me. You were buying beer. Tell me what kind, and what I told you about the beer, so I know it is you...
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "GSP, Beside the Airport"
We met and chatted in the airport while charging our phones. You were going to Syracuse on Friday. I can’t stop thinking about you! I hope to hear from you very soon.
Tell me where I was going, so I know its really you.
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "GSP, Airport"
We were on the same flight together today. We exchanged a few smiles. Just wanted to tell you that you made my day. Thank you!
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "GSP, Airport from Toronto"
I’ll give this one last try: early morning, you were alone, saw you in security line, kept crossing each other as the line snaked through the “maze.” Think you had a pink backpack (but not sure). Ended up on the same flight. You were seated on the aisle sitting next to another woman. I was in a window seat 3 or 4 rows behind you on the right. You put on your coat before leaving the plane. I had hoped to introduce myself once we deplaned, but you got too far ahead.

By the time I got in the terminal, you were gone...
— Anonymous, found in Missed Connections under "GSP, American Airlines Flight"

Footnotes: All images, Fujifilm X70 with fixed Fujinon 18.5mm f/2.8 / All quotes extracted from anonymously posted personal ads filed under the "Missed Connections" section of the Greenville Craigslist.