Friday, October 08, 2004

Misplaced pity

I am in Chicago visiting a friend.
The plane out of Dulles was packed but I got to my seat early enough to see the whole scene.
They came in late carrying two large bags, and a backpack. The woman has also a hand bag and her friend, a young guy who seems fresh out of high-school, is holding a large jacket folded.
He has the look of someone who still finds his room with the posters he put up when he was 16 whenever he goes back home. I notice a large mark of lipstick on his cheek. Maybe the goodbye kiss of his mother this morning. The woman seems to know what she wants. She asks for help with the bags, gets a man sitting behind me to help her, reorganizes the bin compartment above my head to fit the folded jacket and the backpack and sits down in the middle row. After some negotiations with her neighbor who agrees to switch places, she has cleared the way for her boyfriend to sit next to her. He is treating her like a fragile Chinese vase. Afraid to break anything with too rude a movement. They are across the aisle from me and I hear them laugh at the movie being shown. I close my eyes to try to get some sleep. When, frustrated to be still awake, I raise my head, I can see him caressing her arms. She has not moved. They are both reading the same book, open between their laps. Reading one book between two people is sufficiently unusual that I keep looking shamelessly. She is dutifully turning the pages and I soon realize that the pages are almost blank. This is not a book. It looks more like an agenda. She closes the book slowly enough for me to be able to see its title. "New Bride's Book of Lists" is certainly a fascinating read and it goes a long way in explaining their attitude during the flight. With no additional information than the small scene I just witnessed, I caught myself pitying the guy. And I will never know if I was right or wrong.


Post a Comment

<< Home