Thursday, December 22, 2005

Allison Janey sat next to me on my flight home...

I am always and will be forever amused by travel humor, in particular around the holidays, even further when it involves me. Even the idea of people being hurded, in mass, to destinations across country within spaces that clearly challenge the Western World's notion of personal space, is enough to write books about (I'm sure David Sedaris has something up his sleave if he hasn't pontificated over the matter already).

So there I am already in my second hour of journeying. My entire journey from start to finish was 7.5 hours long. Yes, I flew. No, no one drove my ass to Dulles. In fact, no one picked my ass up when I landed in ATL either. I'm not bitter. METRO and her fucked up loosy-goosy cloned sibling, MARTA, were both there to greet me on either end. We were an awkward menage a trois. One word of advice to aspiring rapid transit authorities across the nation--we want a subway, not a fairy ride on the monorail at Disney World. Less chairs. More handle bars. No fucking tokens. NY, consider yourselves lucky taking the walk this week.

But back to my second hour in route.

The last person to climb aboard the Washington Flyer was a young woman, presumably of college age (for those not lucky enough to have traveled the Flyer, this is what comes at the very tippy end of the world when you are forced travel to the other planet, named Dulles, to catch a flight out of Washington). I notice the women's frantic demeanor, as was mine, in trying to make three bags fit overhead without sitting on the face of the person just below who hadn't clued in to your arrival because their i Pod is already going full blast and they've safely made it into their zone not knowing that you are just about to violently interrupt it. So, she finally sits down, excuses herself to a man sitting to her left and then quietly begins to cry (I notice all of this because, little does she know, her reflection I can make out perfectly in the black plexy glass that is situated in front of her, separating her from the driver).

I was a few rows back and I immediately begin to choke up too. It was a moment, I guess. At any minute, Hugh Grant's voice could have come over the loudspeaker, talking crazy about sitting in aiports and watching love all around us and shit. It was also one of those moments where I wanted to hold and be held. Thank god the older man sitting next to her was just at the propper age to apply physical comfort without coming across as the "dirty old man" or "something must be wrong with you" type.

I watched their interactions. At first it was just conversations, talking while looking straight ahead, assuming the other was listening. Then there were nods and soon their heads tilted a little inward, each one catching glimpses while the other wasn't looking. It appeared as if they were genuinely enquiring about each other. I heard work, a major in this and a minor in that, upstate Massachusettes and Florida pandhandle. I'd like to think they might have actually been enjoying the brief comfort of each other, scratching at the thought of Providence, who had decidedly smiled upon them during an otherwise horrid commute.

After my Wahington Flyer experience I became a little more comfortable about the close proximity of people that day, otherwise disconnected were it not for one saving grace--a single and most important common denominator to consider--we are all in this fucking thing together!

Oh, and Independence Air it touting celebrity voiced instructions to spice up their "in case of emergency" routine before wheels-up. Allison Janey taught me how to put an oxygen mask on in case the cabin looses pressure in high altitude. God, I love Christmas. It's just so damn decadent!


At 6:11 PM, Blogger Dop said...

Awww, Kevin, this is beautiful! I didn't know you could express yourself like this. Very nice job. You should write more.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Dale said...

I always get choked up in airports.... usually because I go straight to the bar and then sit around...hmmmmm


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