… all after I’d already gotten to the airport. I’m SO GLAD I gave them my cell phone number so that they could… send me email letting me know that the plane was delayed. Those people at Orbitz are ALWAYS THINKING! Why call me there at the airport when I might’ve found the information useful? So much better to find out—after I get back home—that my plane is late. Yes.
I am typing with two fingers and only one eye open, but figured I’d dash this off before turning in. What’s another half an hour once you’re up this late?
Once we finally boarded, the gentleman next to me managed to break all unspoken rules of air travel etiquette. His knee and elbow landed clearly within my space, he scarfed down a gigantic bag of roasted nuts (loudly and with great relish), and although he was impossible to ignore, made a point of avoiding eye contact, not even granting the fake-polite hello that one generally shares with a person you have to practically sit on top of for a few hours.
“I can’t believe you’re actually here.”
“I know! I’m here!”
“Part of me was a little afraid you were just going to fly down, smack me, and fly back.”
“Um, did you want me to do that?”
“No, but, you know.”
“Yeah. No. I’m good.”
I tried to wedge my head against the window and go to sleep. I also tried to move the rest of me as close to the window as possible to avoid any contact with Oblivious Man, over there, in the next seat.
“I like your hair short.”
“Really? I was sure you’d hate it.”
“No, I like it. This is going to sound weird, but you look younger.”
“No, not weird. A few other people told me that. I just like it because it’s easy and I’m lazy.”
“Really? That’s why I keep mine short, too.”
My chin bounced off my chest as the flight attendant’s twang came over the loudspeaker to announce that the captain had turned off the seatbelt sign. Here I was sleeping and unaware that I was now free to move about the cabin. Thank goodness you woke me up to tell me!
“I wish I still had those notebooks.”
“Heh. I’m not even sure what class that was. Was it lighting?”
“Stage design. A little lighting, a little set design…”
“Oh, right. What did we talk about, other than running away to the mountains in my truck?”
“Mostly that. Sometimes you would write that you were bored, or something about someone else in the class.”
“Heh. Oh yeah. Did we pay any attention in there at all?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
Whatever position I’d managed to fall asleep in, the first time, I couldn’t seem to find it again. My neck was stiff and my toes were freezing. I huddled against the window, closing my eyes, trying to get comfortable.
“It’s a really pretty campus. It sort of reminds me of Cornell. But with kudzu.”
“Yeah, it’s nice. Good for walks, nice shade. In the spring everything flowers at once. You should see it then.”
“I can imagine.”
“This really is the greatest scam I’ve ever pulled. They pay me, I get the whole summer off, I get a couple of weeks at Christmas… it’s awesome.”
“Yeah, but, no snow. And those BUGS.”
“We do have a lot of bugs. But there’s also really good barbecue!”
Why didn’t I bring a cardigan or a light jacket? My arms were freezing. I wrapped them around myself and rubbed a bit to try to restore circulation, all the while trying not to touch Mr. I’ve Taken Over The Armrest.
“I don’t understand how you knew, back then.”
“What do you mean?”
“You knew. Seventeen years ago you knew. How did you know?”
“I dunno. I just did. Something in your eyes.”
“I’m sorry I was so slow.”
Just when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, either the cold or the cramped quarters or both, the plane started to descend. I said a silent prayer of thanks.
“That’s so funny, what you said, about this station playing a lot of covers. I kept hearing something and thinking ‘Oh, that’s… wait, no it isn’t… yes it is.'”
“Isn’t it neat?”
“Very. It’s so familiar and yet… different. Very cool.”
We bumped to the ground and all around me, people began stretching and murmuring. Once we reached the gate, we sat and waited while they pulled up the jetway. I pulled out my phone and turned it back on.
“Hey, we just landed. Go back to sleep.”
“Okay. How was the flight?”
“Late. Long. Bumpy. Hey, I’m a barrel of goodwill at the moment! Heh. Ignore me, I’m just tired.”
“Hey… thank you.”
Sounds like it was worth the trip.
And for future reference, if I’m ever required to ever participate in any, you know, ceremonies, I look great in blue. ;o)
Dude. Were you in Chapel Hill, NC? Cause um, yeah, we do have the best BBQ around, it looks like Cornell, we have palmetto bugs and kudzu. BUT sheesh, woman, I know you must have been having a grand ole time with an old friend who I suspect was an old boyfriend, BUT! I live here! I’d have laid down at the altar of Mir, to buy you drinks, to get you a pedicure, whatever.
Oh, I just realized how significant it is that you were likely with a boy, and hello? Awesome. So don’t mind how I am so self-centered, please!
I’m really glad you had a good time.
I *love* those kind of weekends/trips. Fulfilling on dreams of the past, and making new dreams for the future. I am excited and happy for you!
Um, you know, that first snippet of conversation exchange in this entry? It could’ve been between you and the palmetto bug. *grins with glee and runs away* Seriously though, enjoy your much deserved get-away.
Okay, hello, am I the only one that found this post annoying?! Please Mir, you’re keeping me on the edge of my seat, what’s going on?!
Yay, Mir! It sounds like it went VERY well. Now I’m happy.
Oh, man, I did miss a lot.
Glad you’re home, sounds like things went well.
*putting away my golden ice pick*
I vote Athens, GA.
Also, it sounds like you had a lovely time.
Athens was my original guess, but then I decided I wished Mir had come here!
When will you be giving us ACTUAL details? My imagination is great, and I can imagine where you where and why, and I can even imagine actual conversations you may have had, lunch meals, etc. but I’m pretty sure I am not going to even be close to what really happened…..details please! Soon?
God, there is NOTHING more romantic than reminiscing on airplanes.
OK, I can’t just lurk on this one. Mir, this is one of the most romantic things I’ve heard(read) in a long time. It got me all choked up! How wonderful for you.
This post reads like the opening to a novel. Book opens with the protagonist on a return from a journey into the past as difference scenes flash through her head. I’m hooked already. Perhaps you should join Joshilyn in the ranks of published novelists.
I doubt it is chapel hill– they get snow and the kudzu isn’t quite in “bloom” yet. I am voting for georgia too.
Hon, I’m with Brian. Novelist much? I think yes.
And I’m smiling. Any place with Kudzu is guaranteed to bring a good time.
Mir, are you drinking again? ;)
Sounds like a fantastic flight. Great conversation and legroom.
Now, when are you seeing him AGAIN? ;)
I look good in blue too.
sounds like a fabulous weekend. one that you deserve