I spent the weekend in the lobby of the Warwick Hotel in New York City.
165 cruise ship passengers from all around the world are staying there.
165 people who had disappeared, some going back 50 years.
I don’t know where they came from. There was a humming in one of the supply closets and a flash…and then all of these people just came walking out.
Brandon Patricks, missing since 1986, sat at the bar, stirring his drink.
I’m waiting for my kids to pick me up. They tell me it’s now 2014. I’ve been gone for 28 years. I thought it was only a week.I’m a grandpa now.
According to the rest of the re-appeared passengers, they have only missed a few days, a month at the most.
Wherever they went, time stopped.
News crews were parked on 6th Avenue, hoping to get an interview with some of the passengers.
Most of them don’t want to talk, they just want to be home.
Sitting in the bar, waiting for loved ones, or just waiting for a sense of normalcy to return to them.
I don’t remember what happened. I can’t tell you where I’ve been. We were on our way to Alaska. It was beautiful. The sun was out…we were watching whales. I opened the door to my room, and came out here.
Other’s booked rooms.
A few of them left together as soon as they arrived.
One of them borrowed my phone. He handed it back in tears and disappeared.
I think his son used to have this number? I don’t know. When I told him I didn’t know who he was he started to cry so I hung up.
Brandon Patricks’ son and daughter arrived just after Midnight on Sunday morning. They hugged and kissed and talked about what they’ve accomplished in the 28 years since their father has been missing.
I could see from the look in his eyes how uncomfortable he was.
Brandon excused himself to the bathroom and never came back.
They just aren’t my family anymore, you know? They lost me for 28 years. They grew up, got married, my daughter has a kid. It’s just not my world anymore.
I witnessed a few passengers trying to get back to their cruise ships through the door they came in from. No luck. It was just an ordinary supply closet.
I left them sitting around the lobby, the hotel bar, milling around Manhattan Streets.
I thought I saw Brandon flag down a cab, suitcase in hand, pointing towards the piers.
I guess some that are lost, even if they never knew it, don’t want to be found.