Taking my seat at the gate across from a family of four I took my laptop out of my backpack to kill some time before boarding. One of the two children was passed out fast asleep. How badly I wanted to be in his shoes, I couldn’t wait to fall asleep on the plane. Unplugging my headphones from my phone and into my laptop I noticed a disgusted look on the mother’s face across from me. I was fairly sure it couldn’t be directed at me so I ignored it. A few minutes later I noticed her pointing towards me as I watched old episodes of the Chappelle Show and tried to contain my laughter. Pausing the show and looking up she continued to whisper to her son who looked to be about 8ish, maybe 10, who knows. Then, she made direct eye contact with me and shook her head. Okay, that was enough, I had tried to dismiss it but what was this lady’s deal?
“Hi ma’am how are you?” I asked genuinely. “ Hiiiiiii” she immediately snapped back in a condescending tone. “It’s just that sticker, it’s just distasteful, crude really”. My macbook was covered with stickers but I knew right away which one she was referring to. One of my buddy’s had a clothing line Stacks that used an adaptation of Mr. Money bags from Monopoly for their logo. The brand image showed Mr. money bags standing on escalating stacks of cash, holding a cell phone in one hand and the middle finger out in another. It was surprising that she had spotted it through the dozens of overlapping stickers, but it was admittedly front and center. Giving a quick and insincere “sorry” I turned in my seat so that the laptop faced the other direction.
With my feet overhanging from the armrest I slouched and sunk down in the seat . Initially uncomfortable, I grabbed my backpack and used it to act as a pillow for my back. That was better. The woman let out an exaggerated “pshhht” that I ignored.She was clearly still angered at the sticker, and more so at my lack of caring. I don’t know what she had expected me to do, rip it completely off? No chance. As a matter of fact, her son would’ve most likely never noticed the sticker had she not drawn so much attention to it.
For the next 20 minutes or so I remained in the slouched position, extended across the two seats. I was half watching the Chappelle show and ended up dozing off. When I awoke my headphones were out of my ears and my laptop was teetering on my stomach, very close to falling onto the ground. I thought back to the amount of times my laptop had fallen off the bed while watching a movie with Camilla. We usually got about 15 minutes in before one of us would jump on top of the other. I didn’t want to have to leave her. I didn’t want to go home.
Staring aimlessly at the slow yet steady foot traffic of folks walking to their terminal I started to think about where everyone was headed. Some heading home like me. Some for business, some for pleasure, some for a funeral, others for a wedding. It was overwhelming to think about the range of people and stories that were together in this one place. Everyone , all ages and walks of life coming and going somewhere, anywhere.
Watching as folks passed by I began to attribute stories in my head to what might be going in their lives. I knew I was most likely wildly off on most of my predictions but that was the interesting and exciting part. As I continued to people watch I took specific notice of a gentleman as he walked by . Not for any real reason other than he held a panini in his hand that looked amazing. This guy’s story seemed like a good one right now, and one that i wanted for myself. I needed to put something of substance into my body. Looking to the left past the still irritated woman I checked the display screen hanging above the counter. Almost an hour until boarding. Plenty of time.
I considered leaving my backpack on the seat to save my spot but decided against it. There were still open seats and I didn’t have enough faith in the general public. With my luck I’d come back to my “vulgar” laptop broken into pieces and a smiling woman sitting across from me. Grabbing my bag I headed to go find where the man had gotten the delicious looking sandwich. One of the first spots I passed read Delicatessen with something else above it that I did not take the time to read. Still in somewhat of a daze I unintentionally walked a few strides past the storefront and quickly pivoted back around. I needed food. I needed another nap. And last but not least, I needed Camilla to come back to California with me. If only.