Monday, October 8, 2012

On the road again: Bouchercon, Cleveland, day 6

I approach travel days, which are not usually much fun, as a series of small tasks, most of which are annoying obstacles between me and anything else I’d like to be doing. Today was full of those tasks.

Get up. Work. Shower. Dress. Work. Check out. Cab to airport. Check in and get boarding passes. Go through security. Get lunch. Work. Get on plane. Fly and while on the plane, wish for bandwidth, read, and work. Get bandwidth at second airport; today, LaGuardia. Fight Boingo for access to the bandwidth I’d just purchased. Work madly. Board plane. Work.

And so on. Each time I complete a task, I achieve a small victory and am a step closer to home.

I’m home now, so today’s obstacles are behind me, for which I’m grateful.

The award for today’s most interesting airport moment goes to the couple seated two tables over from me at lunch at Cleveland’s airport. The man and woman had just finished discussing what they would do when they hit their vacation destination, an exchange I overheard because they were on the loud side. That decision made, the man returned to slowly chewing his grilled chicken sandwich.

Into the silence, the woman said, “I want to ask you a question. Are you ready?”

Even I blanched at that wording.

The man gulped the bite he’d been chewing, slouched a bit more, and nodded very slowly.

The woman put her arms flat on the table, leaned forward so her breasts rested on them, pinned him with a laser-like gaze, and said, “Exactly what kind of relationship would you say we have?"  She paused.  "In your own words.”

He quickly took a bite and chewed even slower than before.

She stared at him for a few seconds, gathered her trash, and stood. “You think about it for a minute.” She walked to the trashcan. I’m sure it was only an accident that she walked like a porn model, her butt swaying back and forth in skintight jeans and her chest jutting from her arched back. I’m sure she didn’t mean to flip her long hair.

No, I am not making up any of this.

The man glanced at me with wide eyes, as if I might have on my person some technology that could transport him either out of the airport or back in time.

I shrugged and shook my head.

He couldn’t keep his eyes off her for more than a second, though, so he watched as she dumped her trash and returned.

She sat and said, “Well?”

At that point, I gathered my own trash and left. I was willing to watch the setup, but I didn’t have the heart to stick around for the finale. From what little I saw of her body language as I was leaving, though, I don’t think his dream for what would happen after they reached their hotel was going to come true.

I wish the two of them the best of luck with their vacation. They certainly made me appreciate my quiet, dull lunch.

They also reminded me of another great truth of traveling: You never have to be bored in an airport if you are willing to pay attention to the people around you.

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