When Eva Deitch headed to New Orleans last summer, she did not pack socks — only sandals. But that was before she knew she would spend 15 cold hours in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Deitch, a New York-based photographer and romantic, had heard stories of people spending nights in airports because of unforeseen circumstances, and had always fantasized about what would happen to her in that situation. So when she was presented with an epic layover in Detroit, rather than leaving the terminal, she decided to seize the opportunity and document her journey of staying put.   

She explains her photographs below:

I thought about the birds that become trapped in terminals, fluttering around, chirping from crevasses above the waiting area at gates. I decided to stay.

I grabbed dinner, drank tea and watched the steady stream of travelers turn to a trickle as the night progressed. Stores and restaurants closed around me, and the music shut off as the slow drumbeat of late-night flights and the nocturnal dance of the cleaning crews took over.

I walked the Delta terminal from A to C, dozing off on occasion, but mostly strolling with my roller bag, taking photographs. I was surprised to see an older couple waiting it out, the forts people constructed with blankets, and how some individuals just lay on their backs and went to sleep.

After a while, time seemed to stand still. The arrival screen was empty, the lights remained consistent in their brightness, and the cyclical hum of the moving walkway carried on. It wasn’t until the sun began to rise that the clock seemed to tick forward. As travelers checked in once again, everyone I saw overnight disappeared.

The same scene I arrived to had begun to play out again.

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