Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Row 21

Engines whine, a great shuddering rush, as the wheel kiss the ground one last time, taking flight into the afternoon blue. Cool air hisses through small round vents, everyone taking a collective breath to be on their way.

Retrieving a three inch stack of well worn business cards, wrapped three times over in a faded red rubber band the sales man begins jotting notes on his yellow pad. If I can just get a sale I'll be set, his silent mantra as his fingers read promises embossed in the names. Behind tired eyes, the wheels turn recalling hands pressed and smiles shared over cordial words. Flip, flip, flip...he lays them out like playing cards across his tray table looking for the winning hand. Pausing he turns and smiles across the aisle at the family he has never allowed himself to have...

Please keep your seat belts fastened, we may be experiencing some rough air ahead.

Her hand upon her husbands leg squeezes with each pitch of the plane, her mouth whispering in his ear, tickling the hairs on his neck. A toothy grin breaks free across his face as he answers her, the twinkle in his eye betraying the freshness of their relationship. His thoughts turn to the oasis of their own bed after a week away and cool sheets beckoning. Careful hands try to maintain hold of the squirming toddler climbing his chest...

We have reached our cruising altitude, rough air behind us, please feel free to move about the cabin.

Curls of brown hair loop across the satin skin of her forehead, above deep ochre eyes capturing every moment. Chortles and sighs, she waves her little hands at each passenger that will give her a glance. Her dress dances to the rhythm of her wiggles, her lips blowing kisses, infecting smiles on those she captures. Curious fingers reach for someone to play...

Our stewardess will be coming down the aisle with refreshments...

His finger, hard and calloused, draws pictures in the air just out of her grasp. Warm, the delight on his face, as he drinks deep of her joy and innocence. His heavy ruck sack, tucked firm between the knees of his camouflaged fatigues, carries memories of the little ones he left waving out the window as daddy flew far and away. They will be his blanket on cold nights, staring at a foreign sky, fighting someones war...

We are beginning our initial descent...

Everyone heading somewhere, some to work, some to bed, some to battle, all yearning for something...

We thank you for flying USAir, on behalf of our crew I would like to welcome you to...

Life.

30 comments:

King of New York Hacks said...

Very cool ...so well put together..well written.

only a movie said...

Nice. :-)

SandyCarlson said...

This post made me think of a dear friend who put a lot of years in the Service. Such loneliness. Such a strange trade. Heartfelt. Full of heart. Thanks for this and for the heart in you that offered it up.

Wings said...

Captured it all in words.

Baino said...

Didn't realise you've been travelling again. Serves me right for ignoring Twitter. I love people-watching . .stations, airports anywhere. Great observations as usual.

otin said...

Brian, your posts are like art! They really are like reading classics! One day in about 2115, there will be a book called "The lost posts of Brian Miller" and some school teaching droid will be trying to get the class to understand what you were saying! And some kid will probably say,"Hey droid dude? What is a plane?" LMAO!

lakeviewer said...

Oh, this touches me on so many levels.

willow said...

Wonderful glimpse of the passengers of life.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

That would be my hand gripping the armrest during the turbulence.....

Kathleen said...

Beautifully captured slice of travel life. I'm often so curious about fellow passengers but usually try to rein in my imagination and focus on a work task, cheesy magazine, or good book. I may have to let my imagination rip from now on!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I love how you weave the story like a fine tapestry and capture so much...life. :)

Pastor Sharon said...

I'm either really tired, have PMS or just wearing my heart on my sleeve. This USAir commercial you wrote just made me cry! OMGosh!

Can the soldier please come home now? Can the man make the sale? Can you squeeze that baby girl for me? Can I please have a kleenex?

Goofball said...

you are so incredibly observant!

Hit 40 said...

I am always glad to get back to life! I do not like flying.

Cinnamon said...

You are spending a lot of time travelling! Hope you get back to your lovely family soon, soon!

Very well written Brian :)

Mrsupole said...

I hate flying, but this was cool.

Saw congrats are in order. That was even cooler. I hope you finally can sell, but renting is okay.

God bless.

Candie Bracci said...

This is really cool Brian!Welcome to life!Yes I love that!I don't mind flying myself,I don't like it when it shakes though.Can't wait to go and see other lands,soon.
Have a nice day :)

Valerie said...

A treat of observation. Loved this, Brian.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Brian, I love the way you capture the essence of people. Your words are like paint on an emotional canvas . . . "the family he has never allowed himself to have" . . . "they will be his blanket on cold nights" . . . Keep writing!

Daniel said...

Nice visuals here; kind of a slice of life in a situation that we have all been in. You take is typical Brian. If I had written a similarly themed post, it would have been about all the negative one encounters on such a journey. Rude people, screaming kids, tight quarters, stale air, .... I like your take and your attitude much better than my own.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

In this short post you have beautifully presented the thoughts running in the minds of three people. All these people are traveling in the same plane but their thoughts are somewhere else. Imagine the thoughts of all the people traveling in the plane, I am sure no two thoughts will be the same.

You have a fantastic capacity to visualize the inner most thoughts of people with amazing skill and clarity.

I enjoyed this post immensely.

Have a nice day Brian:)
Joseph

Brian Miller said...

@king - i'll take that from a king any day.

@only - ty.

@sandy - glad i was able to pull back those memories...it is.

@wings - an attempt.

@baino - twitter is not the end of the world. i sometimes wonder why i do it. but glad to be back now, and hopefull some good news soon.

@otin - lol. you kill me sometimes...

@lakeviewer - i am glad it did...hopefully in a good way.

@willow - sometimes i think we an learn a lot in the watching...

@kathy - lol. i have had a few white knuckle trips myself...

@kathleen - i usually read as well to pass the time...but sometimes life is a little more interesting than the stories...

Brian Miller said...

@stacy - no higher praise...smiles.

@pastor - i wonder if they would pass along some loot?

@goofball - lol. except when it comes to dirty clothes left laying on my side of the bed...

@hit 40 - only when the turbulance shakes you like a maraca...

@cinnamon - hopefully the travels are ending soon...

@mrsu - yes, if it all comes together it will be really cool!

Megan said...

Now I want to get on an airplane.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm still feeling bruised from Saturday. This made me cry, but in a good way.

Thanks.

...mmm... said...

Love the part about the fresh sheets that initial delight of a relationship. Ahh.

Ronda Laveen said...

Refreshments? Yea, life!

Hilary said...

A master of observation. An interpreter of the human condition. Beautifully done.

The Retired One said...

You captured the scene perfectly...and gave us glimpses of every life.
I think of this whenever I hear of a plane crash. How many stories of lives and situations the plane held...not to mention the loved ones that just said goodbye to them and the ones on the other end of the ramp awaiting them...

Lorraine said...

You are a literary marvel...