Monday, December 31, 2007

Airport musings~

Sitting in Houston's Airport-- Bush Intercontinental-- I face a sun setting over the fin of a grounded Continental jet. There's a football game on TV and Bruce has moved closer for a better view.

I'd rather watch people. An odd lot us humans, but interesting, and nice-- for the most part-- all with a tale, each the lead actor in a drama written only for him-- or so he thinks.

Nobody here looks ominous in anyway. All the random "beepers" were pulled aside and screened further. All water bottles have been confiscated from those who didn't know water was a liquid.

We're safe, those of us waiting for flight 686. It's the weather that may pull a cruel twist with the storm that is due to arrive in Boston while we're only half way there. Or an invisible virus someone harbors.

A mother-of-three adjusts her load. She's determined to stuff a pacifier in the baby hanging in a sack from her front. Her toddler tells her his tummy feels better now and they can go to Texas after all.

"That's good," she says wryly, "because we're in Texas."

I watch a depressed looking woman pull a carry-on slowly down the concourse. She pastes a phone to her cheek, expressionless.

A trio of flight attendants strides professionally by. Each is dressed the same, but the skirt on the bleached blonde-- orange lipstick and possibly botoxed lips-- is three inches higher than the other two wear theirs.

I watch an older couple with their granddaughter. Why do men age so much better than women? Older men-- grey, wrinkles, little paunches-- always come out ahead of women with the same features.

There's a couple with a carry-on bag that wouldn't hold much more than my son's basketball sneakers. In it their dog is curled like a cat and drugged into near oblivion for his flight.

"Can I take a picture," I ask. "She's adorable."

"She's a he," Mr. tells me.

"Sorry," I say as if I've offended a parent with a newborn. "The bow threw me off.

The dog's fur was combed off it's face and fastened with a bow.

"It's a masculine bow." The man smiles.

It's not, but I say, "Yes, like a bow tie," and smile back.

His wife, so fashionably thin she looks like she could curl up in a carry-on herself, doesn't make eye contact. I think the dog is hers. I decide she's a snob.

When we board, dog couple is in first-class where the dog has more room to dream his drugged doggy dreams than I do in my second-class seat where I scrunch for the journey home.

An uneventful landing in sleety snow, a cold dark ride home, and then bed-- four feet narrower than the one we slept in the night before, but the cat's curled between us purring in delight.

Home, sweet home.
James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death. ~ Ian Fleming


Janice Thomson said...

I'm like you - love watching people and wondering what their lives are like. It must feel so good to be home again. A very Happy New Year my friend. Wishing you the best that 2008 can give. (oh no! I have to remember now 08...08...08) hee hee

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness, just took me on the most delightful trip. I could see the faces, hear the noice, and laugh at the dog story. You are right I think she was a snob!
What a wonderful little tour of the airport before I go to bed.
So glad Janice brought us together.
Love coming to hear your stories.
Happy New Year.

Ross said...

Happy New Year, Ruth! I agree with you, the bow on the doggy is a bit dodgy at best. I have seen pugs wearing formal clothes, black tie a must, and I've dressed a dachshund in a stripey tube-sweater that made him look like a bumble bee. Of course, I assume the dogs (cats too, perhaps) look at us and think: "What are THEY thinking?" Not just because we dress them up "funny" ... but because those humans look pretty silly themselves. So, on New Year's Day, as Northumbria waits for a "Siberian Blast" (not a beverage at Dairy Queen) of the worst winter weather possibly in 100 years, I am dressed in a black sweatshirt printed as a convention give-away by MIDLAND WALWYN, and Bermuda shorts, and plaid slippers. I look fabulous! All the best!

Dave said...

Some of my best times have been observing other people. I see myself and I see others at the same time.

Happy New Year

Ruth D~ said...

Janice~ :>) I'll be well into '07, I mean '08 (!!) before I get it right.

Wanda~ I love how the whole blog web connects us to people who become friends. What we'd miss without it.

Ross~ I laughed out loud at your comment. Read it again, and laughed again. I'm always in slippers at home, but no shorts until summer. What are you thinking in the middle of a Siberian blast? Me? Not that you asked. I'm a T shirt and sweat pants . . . with my bathrobe over that. Cute, huh? :>)

Dave~ You're so right. If we don't see a little bit of ourself in others, we're blind. And seeing myself makes it impossible to judge others. I understand them. Except for snobby dog woman. :>) I never understand snobs.

rain said...

That is NOT a masculine bow. No dignity for that doggy. Happy New Year!!

Barbara said...

Airports are such good places for people-watching. You see everyone's true colors, especially if there is a delay or an overbooking.

I would love to be able to take my dog on a plane with me, but 80 pounds of lab would never fit under the seat.

Welcome home and Happy New Year!

Val Cox said...

great little stories and observations. Nice capture on the bow-tie pup!

Alice Folkart said...

Thanks for saving me a trip to the airport Ruth. You have a keen eye and a good ear. Happy 2008.

Dawn said...

What a great little trip to the airport and I didn't have to take my shoes off, or even put them on, for that matter. I'm a people watcher too and I like to ride in the car and look in windows and wonder about the people who live there. Does that make me a voyeur? I could spend a day at the mall just watching people walk past. My life is so adventurous. :)

Well done, Ruth! And great photo!