If you’re spending time in airports this month, or any time, it pays to keep your eyes open. You never know what–or whom–you’ll see.
There was a day when I actually looked around me in airports, instead of distracting myself with a book or computer or phone. People were more entertaining, then, perhaps. Or less irritating. Yes, in my youth I took the advice Be Here Now to heart and was fully present no matter where I was. Including airports.
Now? Not so much. Travel has become something to endure and for me, enduring it means being anywhere BUT the airport. Since Calgon can’t take me away, my Kindle does. Or my Macbook Air. I hardly notice a soul around me. That’s my habit and I’ve grown accustomed to it. (And if you understand the reference to Calgon, you get extra points.)
But back in the late 1970s, I was alert to the world around me. Maybe the world was still fresh and new to me–I was, after all, in my late 20s. Still a baby, really. My job took me from my home in Tallahassee, Fla. to Washington, D.C. fairly often and yes, M. and I were married to each other at the time, although not for long, it would turn out. Laptops, notebooks and cellphones were all the future, unimaginable, really. So I carried a yellow lined pad and a pen wherever I went and wrote. Wrote and wrote. I still have some of those pads just waiting to be transcribed.
Airport chairs back in the day were that horrible molded plastic and terrifically uncomfortable. So there I was, squirming in my chair, when I saw a guy who was clearly cray-cray. Now, when I actually made eye contact with strangers, I always attracted the crazy ones, no matter where I went. Unless I was with my sister, and then SHE attracted them. I do remember a nutcase with one leg chasing the two of us down the street yelling at my sister, “Come back! Come back!” Maybe he recognized a kindred spirit, who knows.
But this time, it was my turn to notice a guy who had some definite problems and to discover that I am Queen of England….and HERE’S the story.
Got a better airport story? I want to hear it. But it better be better than mine!