1,000 Stories…At the Airport

1,000 Stories…At the Airport

by Bill High

A 6am flight means a 330 wake up call, out the door at 4, drop off the rental car.  A 6am flight made necessary by an impending ice storm.  I wanted to get home.

But I couldn’t help but notice the Hertz bus driver with his venti coffee.  I suspected he was a dark roast guy, no cream, no sugar.  A smiling woman boarded the bus with not one but two huge suitcases.  Some business guys boarded the bus—no words, no smiling, just staring straight forward.

At the airport, the security line was far longer than I would have dreamed for that time of morning.  Some ski totes, some volleyball teams, some just standing—nothing to tell their story—where they’d come from or where they were going.

In the TSA line, an elderly couple slowed things down apparently not understanding that TSA meant expedited.  A mom carried her toddler, a little brown head buried inside a little parka. Another mom smiled when I helped her through the security screening—glad she had someone to help her through the drill.

A crowded airport.  A thousand stories.  An anxious mom travelling with her preteen daughter kept asking the gate agent what time to board.  Another person complained loudly about their $800 ticket and why her daughters couldn’t board with her.  The coffee line was long—zombies in a row.

I saw the volleyball girls; they were loud and excited.  A coach complained about a player who checked her luggage—it would slow them down later.  It meant waiting.  There were a lot of guys hiding behind newspapers.  Why is it so often the guys?  Some unmakeupped women with baseball caps kept their head down and sipped their steaming coffee.

The guy in front of me in the boarding line was big.  A construction guy—early mornings meant nothing to him—so he was complaining about all the workers he was having to fire because of smoking weed.  Heavy equipment operators and weed don’t make good companions, apparently.  The Southwest steward was far too chipper for our 6am flight; he drew smiles, but I’m sure later in the morning, he’d do better.

I was glad to be heading home among my flight of 146 stories—most of them I’d never get to know but something we still shared.

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Published January 31, 2017

Topics: Lessons with Bill

Lessons with Bill

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