October 23, 2011
Wired, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 43
After a while, I look up from my favorite airport magazine indulgence. This time the Scientific American cover story strikes me as appropriate, “The Two Faces of Stress.”
The waiting area has filled with passengers, many wearing “Ireland 2011” fleece jackets. Hoping to find some short-term traveling companions, I smile at the two retiree age couples across from me. “Are you with a tour?” I ask, even though the answer is obvious. We chat about our tour plans and ask and answers questions of each other.
They have neck support pillows and back support pillows and ear plugs for the longer flight, connecting in Newark to Aer Lingus. Disappointed I’ll be braving Newark alone, I look over the shoulder of the woman sitting next to me. Sporting the same jacket she shows me a booklet with each traveler’s name, picture and home town, as well as a detailed itinerary. What a nice idea, I think. I hope my tour group has something like that. Boarding begins on time, and soon enough I am as settled as I can be into my window seat.
The first leg of my journey finds me in the company of a surprisingly jumpy fellow. For someone who says he travels a lot, he seems a little wired to me. He orders an alcoholic beverage as soon as possible and then tells me he is a wire salesman headed for Germany. I ask “automotive or infrastructure?” and we proceed to trade knowledge of engineering firms and advancements.
When talk tapers off, I close my eyes for a bit. As the pilot announces our decent into Newark, my seat mate begins to fiddle with his napkin. He twists and rolls his cocktail napkin in what I suspect is nervousness. Surprising me again, he displays a talent for making paper roses out of napkins, and hands it to me with a flourish. He tells me if he could use his lighter he would burn the petals for color. I start to wonder if this is his way of flirting, but as soon as the plan lands, he sprints from his seat without any parting words. Ah, I sigh inwardly. It’s for sure, now. I’ll be facing Newark alone.
Posted by jaselin at October 23, 2011 09:06 PM