"Look lively, here comes Flight 1147."
We pressed our noses to the one-way glass and the parade began. A trickle at first, businessmen wheeling suitcases, cell phones already pressed to their ears. Then young couples in glitter platform shoes, bopping to Walkmans. Well-heeled families carrying duty-free bags, squinting into the fluorescent light to read the signs and line up in the right queue.
Then a pause in the traffic, empty spaces stretching out like ellipses. I scrutinized what the airplane's belly had disgorged, scanning for stains under silk armpits, restless eyes, hands clenching bags too tightly. They...