At the Chicago airport there is a boy about 9 or 10 years old, an attractive and intense boy who wears glasses that hide his eyes. His mother is gently chiding him, saying that on this flight he must let her sleep and not ask questions. He assures her that this time he will read.
When he sees the plane he declares that this is a Real jet. It has a pointy nose. And he is right. It is sized just for him. I feel like I am stuffing myself into a doll house. My carry-on and I barely fit. He sits in front of me in the window seat.
As we rise through the clouds, faces pressed to the windows, we both gaze in silent amazement. Great adventures of clouds, palaces, forests, and giants surround us all in brilliant whites and blue. Then there is a suddenness of dazzling milky landscapes below us. He looks over his shoulder at me. “Cool, isn’t it?” “Really Cool” he replies, his grey eyes shining.
Security at SFO was mostly painless. But since I so seldom fly, I have only read about the drill and thus feel a little rushed. 3-1-1….I am beginning to feel that the two carry-ons that I planned and agonized over to the last square centimeter, those two carry-ons are too much…
Waiting, waiting, yes but there is much to wait for. Blue Mountain is like this mythical story that I was somehow involved in during the Long Ago, so fuzzy and so amazing sometimes I think I just dreamed it. And can hardly believe I am really going back. One of those old Greeks said that you never can step in the same river twice….
The man across from me in the waiting area came in with a phone to his ear. As is the way of cell phones, I can’t help but learn that he has just been told of the death of his father. The man with the phone had taken this red-eye flight in hope of getting home to say good-bye to his father, and now his sister is planning the funeral.
We Americans don’t like being crowded. And sitting the appropriate personal-space away is a woman, a stranger to this man. When he puts his phone away she reaches across that empty space and touches his arm. There is a terrible emptiness in his eyes. I know from hard experience that there is now a ragged hole in his life that will never be quite mended.
A child is sprawled across the chairs in deep sleep. Another child is being “spoiled” by her grandmother.