Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Horizons, Strangers, and Window Seats

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Horizons, Strangers, and Window Seats

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a window seat. Which is obviously the best place to be on a plane. (Unless you’re the type who always needs the restroom, and if that’s the case, then the window seat is not the place for you. Save our feet, and the awkwardness of you almost-sitting in our laps and having to fold up our tables every time you need to go, and just sit on the end.)

Airplanes, airports, traveling. Wonderful and terrifying things.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I think about the walking stories that are passing me to make it to their next flight or their next destination. So many people, from every where! Hardly is there another place where you will find so much diversity. But it’s also a terrifying and heartbreaking thing for me. I want to know them all, to hear their stories. I want to hear about the grandchildren they’re going to visit in Florida, or the concert they just saw in Maryland, or their trip to meet the new in-laws. 
But that’s when my American-ized self comes in. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have “Don’t talk to strangers” hammered in my head, and I had less of a personal bubble. But, here I am; just an American girl who sometimes has the guts to talk to strangers.

My last flight took a long time to come in. I waited and waited, at the bare, freezing Gate D4 in Atlanta, as I flicked through Twitter, texted my mother, walked to the coffee bar. And then I watched the people out of the window, as they prepared for the next flight. The bulky men in bright orange or yellow vests, hollering to each other from across the pavement. Expertly backing up big four-wheeler-type vehicles with luggage trailers on the back. I wonder, how’d they get that job? What are their families like? To they have Georgian accents? 

The little family to my right and a few isles back had their two-year-old on a leash as we waited. Now she’s playing some sort of iPad really loudly, with a character who talks in a high squeaky voice. I wonder why we feel the need to fill child/toddler games with characters who speak in high, squeaky voices? I’m sure there’s a more painless way to entertain them. 
Or maybe just get the kid some headphones.

I have found myself particularly uninspired lately. Or maybe I should say, still. But I like being above the clouds like this. I like looking at the horizon, where the clouds are so hazy and soft that you can’t see exactly where the sky ends and the clouds begin. 

Also, it’s nice to be away from cell phones and wifi for a couple of hours. No pressure to keep checking my phone, or missing appointments or whatnot. It’s just me, and the books I brought. I should do this more often.
Minus the plane.
That’d be way too expensive.

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