Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Hi, I'm Marc," I said as I strapped the seat belt on.
The guy glanced my way--it was barely a glance, but it qualified--and raised an eyebrow. Nothing more, just that small acknowledgement that really meant he had no real interest in getting to know me. So, I pulled out a newspaper and pretended to read.
I knew at that moment it was gonna be a long, long flight.
And it was just that. More than an hour delay on the tarmac, several hours in the air en route to the deep south and not one freaking word from Mr. Sunshine in 4A.
I really enjoy traveling, especially when I'm able to spend time people watching. And airports are great places to watch folks. You can learn a lot about a person while watching how they cope with distress, and how they treat other people. Most travelers ignore others, pretending that anyone outside their personal bubble doesn't exist. Too wrapped up in personal drama, people simply want to be left alone. Relationships--even ones that are brief--require too much of an investment for people. It's just easier to isolate one's self.
Except if you're a West Virginian.
"You going home?" the guy behind me asked, leaning forward to talk. He couldn't have had a clue if I was coming or going, but something in my affect gave it away.
"I am. It's been a long day and this is my last connection, into Charleston."
There was something different about this plane full of people traveling from Cincinnati to West Virginia. There was an exciting energy in the air; people were talking back and forth about the towns they live in, and the friends they had in common. It was as if these strangers were family who hadn't seen each other in years, and were becoming reacquainted.
It's like we were kin.
"Going home's the best part of traveling, eh?" he asked. I smiled and nodded.
It certainly is.