Sitting in the airport, my laptop open, I distract myself from a lonely day of travel with my work. Speakers add to the din with the call to board this flight or that flight while carry-on luggage the size of trunks roll in all directions. Hard plastic chairs filled with people in all manner of travel dress from tight skirts to suits to pajamas surround me. I grade, answer email and sip the rich hot mocha I grabbed on the way in.
An older man approaches, “Are these taken?” He indicates the two empty seats to my right.
“No,” I say, “help yourself.”
Motioning to a woman a few feet away, he says, “C’mon Honey. Sit down while I find us something to eat.”
She glowers at him but sits. There is a muffled argument about what to get. The woman tells him there is nothing around to eat and he should have gotten something when they were in the main part of this terminal.
Within my view, there are at least five places to grab a bite ten or twenty steps away, everything from sandwiches at a deli to a sit-down Italian place. The man is clearly practiced in patience. “It’ll be hours before we’re at Mellie’s place. I can get us a couple of turkey on ryes at the deli there and we can eat them on the plane.”
“I don’t want a sandwich.”
“Okay, let me grab a menu from that place over there,” he points to the Italian place, “and we can get something to go.”
She wants nothing to do with it and he continues to go through the options he can see until their flight is called, at which point she says, “Why didn’t you go down and get me something from that place we passed on the way here?” But it’s too late now because they are boarding.
I send the man a sympathetic look and go back to my work.