“You’re going to have to lead her,” one TSA agent says to another. They stand somewhere to the left in my blind spot. I wait in line at the body scanner for the first time since owning a white cane. I wonder if I should have folded up my cane and set it in a gray container with my other carry-ons.
I’m probably the only person with a white cane in the proximate area, so I take a chance. I glance their way, following where the voice emanated from.
One of the agents steps over to me, saying, “Ma’am, can you please step over here?” He puts out his hand tentatively to my shoulder, but never actually touches it. I nod in agreement and sidestep to the basic metal detector. The second agent motions for me to walk under the arch. I pass through. It beeps. I turn around. I hand the first agent my cane and pass through the detector a second time. No beeps. My cane is placed on the conveyor belt to be x-rayed.
“Ok ma’am. You can proceed,” says the second agent, nodding at me and pointing forward. I walk with hesitation towards the collection area, unsure about cables that may be stretched on the floor or where agents and passengers crisscross. All of the gray bins that spit out from the x-ray machine look the same to me, filled with indiscernible contents. I scan the area methodically, but I don’t see my husband. He must be in the body scanner.
I sidled up to an empty spot at the conveyor and watch for my things to appear in one of the bins below me. I feel a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m here. Our stuff is at the end,” my husband says, as he tilts his head to the right.
I see an agent lift my cane off the belt and walk toward me. “Thanks,” I say, taking my confidence back from him.