“Do these things work?”
I looked around, surprised. I hadn’t realized that he was talking to me. I looked some more: Tall, teal eyes, nice kicks. He glanced at my phone.
“Oh,” I said. Mobile boarding pass. Right. “Yeah, it should.”
“Okay,” he said, adding, “I don’t fly very much.”
I asked him where he was from, where he was headed.
Seattle (it’s not always rainy), Seattle (he was just visiting his brother)
“Are you flying directly?” I asked.
“I wish. Through San Francisco.”
“I’m on that flight,” I said automatically, only realizing later that we were standing in the TSA queue and he could have been on any number of flights, on any airline at all.
“United?” he asked.
When we got through security, he disappeared to the opposite end of the terminal. I scanned the departures board and felt a weird disappointment when I saw another United flight to SFO just a few minutes before my own.
I’m not on his flight.
Which, as it happened, was delayed. I decided that following him to 1B would be poor form; if we were meant to meet again, we would.
I’m sitting in SFO, gulping Peet’s hot choc. I’m secretly thrilled that I’m exhausted. The thing about red-eye flights is, they’re really best taken asleep. My eyes are sun and salt-tired (and just plain tired). It was 100 degrees in Orange County today. 100. Degrees. Last night, I went to dinner with some friends in Irvine and when we stepped out of the car, we three collectively hissed at the unbelievable heat.
“I feel like I’m in an oven,” I said.
“Did I miss something?” Tim asked. “Did we somehow end up on the surface of the sun?”
Shortly thereafter, the sun set, which offered startlingly little relief. We found ourselves in an amphitheater of thousands, all packed together with small amounts of sticky air between them. Us. We drank beers–lots of beers–to stay cool, but the fever only broke when the car began flying down the I-5.
This morning, I got up for the call. And got up for the call. And finally said, “Fuck it, let’s get breakfast.” And then put Bagel Shack on pause to check Twitter for the call: Lay day. I surfed with my editor, who was kind enough to lend me his Neck Beard. That’s bound to sound odd if you don’t know who Dane Reynolds is. If you don’t know who Dane Reynolds is, Google that shit.
But yeah, between the heat and the sun and the salt and the recycled airplane air, which reminds me of something really funny that I heard on one of my flights out from Maine: Some girl said, “I love the fresh air on airplanes.” But not in an ironic way. It made me laugh. Anyway, between all of those mostly wonderful things…
My eyelids are fighting a good fight.