On a cold November night in 1982, I walked out of Los Angeles International Airport with a tennis racket in one hand and luggage full of dreams in the other. My first image of America was the futuristic looking Theme Building. With its four massive legs, it looked like a spaceship that had just landed from outer space. I always wanted to have my picture taken in front of it but airports are notorious for being a one-way portal. Passengers are dropped off and hurry to their gates. Then a few weeks later when passengers return, they rush out the door to meet with their rides. Throughout the years, I had been through LAX many times but I never had the chance to have my picture taken.
Since that cold November night, the Earth had revolved around the sun many times but still, I hadn’t had the chance to get my picture taken in front of the space ship thing. It’s strange that in life, something so simple like having a picture taken in front a building could be set aside on the backburner of consciousness and never revisited again. Like writing a novel, going to a National Park or simply watching shooting stars streak across the night sky, sometimes an excuse to say “I’m too busy and maybe tomorrow” is much more convenient. But the tomorrows become next week and turn into next year until finally, we look back and tell ourselves “I’ve always wanted to do that.”
I am finally determined to get my picture taken in front of the landmark. After driving more than two hours, I stood in front of the futuristic building. With the sun in my face and with all the hopes that the new day would bring, I giddily stood still for 10 seconds and waited for the camera’s timer to count down—then a lifelong dream was fulfilled.