Last trip I sat by Randie (I always introduce myself and shake hands. Their faces NEVER match their names. And I usually ask if they prefer to pretend that we aren’t sitting on top of each other like cattle or if they are talkers. No one ever considers themselves a talker.)
Randie travels frequently for business. He has an ipad, listens to Dwight Yokum, and has these amazing Bose headphones that block out almost all external noise. He preferred to keep to himself, except when one of us had to move in which case you had to pull different parts of your body out from under different parts of the other person’s body, which always required an apology. He also liked to play chess. On his phone. Not his ipad. Which I was intrigued about.
But the most interesting part was that he apparently doesn’t play chess very well, because throughout the flight he would make various “losing” noises which were always preceded by “that was a bad move” noises. Sucking, blowing, a curse stopped before it escapes. All followed by deep breaths as he’d begin a new match and the whole process would start over again.
On my flight home, there was Harriet. A woman about the age of my parents who was heading to Milwaukee. She and her husband were on the plane, but not seated together. The flight had been delayed and in order for them to get on this particular flight that had to take what they could get.
She was in a middle seat, and he was in the window seat across the aisle from us. Which made me feel sooo bad. He has a problem with his leg and has to use a cane.
And so I tell her that I would have happily changed places with him.
Except I have to sit by the window.
On THIS side of the plane.
So I imagine that Harriet, who-has-never-liked-her-name, is telling the story to her sister about sitting next to a nice gal from Michigan who laughs out loud at movies on her phone, reads books on her ipad, pours only a drink at a time into her glass of ice, and insists on sitting on a particular side of the plane, next to the window, behind the wing….