Thursday, March 15, 2007

Up against the window

Up against the window, I have a good view of people in the A terminal. To my left, is a young man, perhaps in his early 20’s reading a book. Across from me is an Asian couple sharing a DVD on a laptop. The man is much more entertained by the movie then his companion. He regularly jumps and giggles to himself as the scenes change. She….is…. unmoved. Slightly in front and to my left is another couple. They are Caucasian. She with a brown open crochet type covering on. Not quite a sweater, but not a doily. It’s dark brown and matches her leather sandals quite nicely. He in tennis shoes like most of the men in the terminal. Next to them a few empty seats down is a trio of men. One looks to be the “leader”. I see him as a former football player with not enough talent but plenty of enthusiasm. His hair is short and graying. He wears a checkered yellow shirt tucked smartly into his khaki Dockers. He probably coaches his son’s baseball team now. He can’t sit for long always getting up and checking the sports scores.

When I follow someone with my eyes, watching them for any clue to their current situation. Is it business or pleasure? I can only imagine where they have been. What they are doing and where they are going.

The reality of my fear is truly unfounded. While I may have had a few people turn me down for a picture. Nearly everyone will listen to me for a few seconds to several minutes of my chatter about organ donation. No one has any idea about the number of people that are waiting for an organ. They don’t consider that one person will die every 17 minutes waiting for an organ. One that will not arrive. I don’t know what caused the death of the patient the first day the recipient was in ICU. It could have been a sickness, accident or natural causes. I remember seeing the distress on their faces. I could almost feel it.

DATA CORRECTION [I erroneously posted that "one person dies every 17 minutes". The actual accepted number is "17 people die every day".]
What's the difference? At 17 per day = 6,205 deaths. If it were one every 17 minutes, there would be 30, 917 per year.

All around me wandering in and out of empty blue vinyl seats are people coming or going. There are so many stories that are waiting to be told. A few months ago, I would have called it a “target rich” environment. But now, I am leery to approach a subject in an airport. Mostly because of no way to easily escape. At the mall, I can head out a door to the parking lot. In a book store, I can duck into another aisle filled with fiction or Harlequin books. In the airport. Not so easy to disappear.

To my right is a younger woman with a large diamond wedding ring. It looks to be a princess cut set in white gold. Simple design but pretty nice. It still shines so she probably hasn’t been married too long.

In most public places, people tend to put barriers between themselves and others. Separating us from “them”. Normally it’s distance. In an airport, it’s seats. On my left is the young man two empty seats (one with my camera and laptop bog on it) then myself. To my right are two more seats and the young woman. She too, has a bag on one of the two seats. So between the three of us there are seven seats with 5 taken up. Psychologically, no one will sit in between us. There really is only one seat. Sure, we can move our bags, but we won’t. They are our barriers. The protective cocoon we put up.

To the young woman’s right are two college age guys. They are sitting in the two seats immediately next to her. I can see her discomfort. She ahs made “innocent” glances their way to see if she approves of their proximity. Getting up and moving to another seat would be rude. Something that’s probably not acceptable here in the south. But yet, these two young men got up and moved to the area the trio was occupying. Now the woman is alone in her small space. When two of the trio return, there will be a dilemma. Sit next to other “men” or remain standing and wait for another set of seats to open.

The “leader“of the trio has returned. He’s standing now. One of his colleagues has his own bags on one of the seats and if he were to sit next to it, he would violate the “man law” of sitting too close.

Being up against the window is entertaining to say the least.

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