Doug Bruns

Leaving on a jet plane.

In Travel, Writing on July 3, 2012 at 6:00 am


(Written July 1, 7:20pm to around nine pee em.)

What is it, I wonder, about travel and airports, and planes, and anticipation that makes my head come alive? I go to the airport early because that is where I know the ideas hang out. I watch a waitress approach a customer. She stands silently in front of him. He is oblivious, fingers dancing on his phone. Finally she speaks: “Thank you for texting.” He looks up at her like a stupid cow. She wears a name tag: Ma. Thank you for texting–that’s rich.

Elsewhere and later, someone says, “No ESP for me. I have ESPN. High-def.” See what I mean? You don’t need a Parisian cafe when that stuff is floating around. Times like this I think I can be a novelist. But usually that is because I’ve been drinking in the bar, eavesdropping.

On the plane I heard a man say he was moving because he wanted a bigger garage. People move to have a bigger room in which to store inanimate objects? Really? I have been to places in the world where people have no inanimate objects. This same traveler also was overhead to refer to his spouse as “the wife.” I do not recall every hearing a woman refer to her spouse as the husband. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

I fly more than I like and have been upgraded to business as a result. In business the booze is free and this is my single consolation to travel, aside from the great conversations I overhear and the energy I pick up. Those things are really better than the booze, but the booze makes them significant in a way they would otherwise be lacking or simply less interesting.

Leaving Maine is a heart-break always. I hope that never changes.

  1. Haven’t heard “the husband” either. But I have heard “the husband” referred to simply as “stupid” many times – which often seems to fit.

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