I’LL BE walking down the concourse of an airport in Chicago or Atlanta, passing gates where people are waiting to fly to cities all over the country. There might be some small sign of difference here and there — different team hats, accents — but they’re all basically acting the same.
Then I get to the gate for my flight to Boston. People are eating sticky food and reading and staring at their phones, just like at the other gates, but their expressions are a little stonier, and they get up a little earlier before the listed boarding time to mass in front of the door, angling a little more aggressively to ace each other out in the coming rush to get on the plane. There’s a distinctive buzz in the air here. Something’s going on.