Stranger on a Plane

13 Dec

Planes are flying boxes of chocolate: You never know what you’re going to get. When travelling to a destination layered with layovers, the odds are against you. The likelihood that you’ll land a seat next to that one type of person that you spend your entire life trying to avoid double. My flight to Las Vegas was a perfect example.

As I snuggled my head against the window pane, I heard a loud rustle next to me. I looked up and smiled expectantly, a friendly gesture to greet the newcomer to my row. A round brunette girl plopped her bag next to mine. Her eyes never met mine. Instead, with a frown, she dropped into the row seat. I shrugged and returned to my slumber until I heard a guy with a Texas twang slur, “I’m supposed to be in the middle, but I don’t care. I’m just ready to go.”

“She took my seat,” she replied matter-of-factly with a nasally voice as her head nudged my way, “but yeah, I don’t care either. Just ready to go home.”

Annoyed, I glanced at my ticket and began to correct her: “Your seat?”

But before I could avenge myself, the pair  fell into a conversation: They talked about the weather, college, I lost count after that when I returned to staring outside the window and sulking silently, until an elbow into my shoulder  told me that  the flight attendant toting a cart creaking with juice, water and pretzels had halted on my row.

The flight back to Dallas was the complete opposite. From the moment the petite blonde shot me a smile as she struggled to throw her bag above the seats to an hour and a half later when the plane came to halt, I had her undivided attention: She chatted, bubbling over everything under the sun: bad breath, dating younger men, working in real estate, kids, everything. I pretended to fall asleep after my complimentary water just to escape from playing a game she had conjured from her carry-on  when she ran out of things to say. I wasn’t trying to be mean, but after a night of partying in Vegas until my a 5 a.m. flight to the airport with little shut-eye in between, I yearned for a bit of quiet.

On my way to the bathroom after the flight had landed, another passenger looked at me and laughed: “You certainly got an earful.”

I surveyed the line of women behind me to make sure my plane buddy wasn’t nearby. They shot me glances of sympathy as well.

But I guess I should count my blessings. Some like it hot. Others cold. But Reading Strangers on a Train will make you grateful for any passenger who isn’t not talking murder.


One Response to “Stranger on a Plane”

  1. Stuart December 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    This is the most amusing blog that you’ve ever written.


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