April 4, 2006
It’s been a hairy morning, I tell you. Remind me to plug in the earphones next time I’m waiting for a flight.
I’m sitting at the airport gate, knitting away, and realize I am in the midst of a high school group from Kentucky going to New York for the first time. They all wear lanyards with their names written in Sharpie on them. “You will be wearing these for four days,” their teacher says. “Do not under any circumstance take them off.” I think about what could happen should a fifteen-year-old from Bowling Green remove her lanyard while wandering the streets of Manhattan.
Guy wearing a football jersey with the number 81 on the back looks into the backpack of a non-talking skinny guy sitting across from him and says: “Dude, did you bring a book?” You rat! I think. What a crummy thing to say!
Master of the Universe behind me has a completely intelligible conversation about how he is going to Boulder to fire Gene Hankins (name changed to protect the poor sales rep in Colorado who will be having a very bad day tomorrow). (Memo to all sales reps in Boulder, Colorado: one of you is going to have a very bad day tomorrow.) Master is clearly stoked at the prospect of dropping the guillotine. You smug weasel!
Two women who run a dress shop in Nashville are going to New York to buy for the store. “I tried on those jeans, the ones with the really low pockets, and they don’t even fit. And they’re even my size. The pockets. Are. Too. Low.” Too-low pockets? I never thought about that. A whole new thing to worry about!
Burly guy, shaking his head: “So they walk out of the doctor’s office, thinking that the aneurysm was not going to ever be a problem, guy drops dead right there in the parking lot.”
Jeez, people, stop talking! You’re creeping me OUT! I cannot take this!
As I board the plane, I look into the cockpit as I always do (how do they keep track of all those dials? They surely can’t), and I see a crew member’s hat hanging on a hook. Inside is photo of a woman and her baby. He keeps them right next to his head. Aw, man, this is just too much.
I’ve got a picture of the fellas as close to my head as I can manage without sort of pasting it on my forehead. It’s funny: the older they get, the harder it is for me to leave them. I thought it would be the other way around, that the more independent and rational they got (OK, that’s a work in progress, and I’m still working on rationality myself), the less of a pang I would feel. They’ll be fine. They know I’m coming back. But as I woke up David to say ciao, I had a ferocious urge to toss him in a tote bag and bring him with me. Doesn’t weigh much; he’s great company. I almost had the chance to bring Clif with me, because he wrapped his legs around mine like an orangutan and hung on. Marsupial. “Have a great adventure,” he said.
A minute later, Hubbo said the same thing. At this point, it’s nine in the morning, and I’ve already had plenty of adventure. I’m hardly, even, in New York or anything.