I’ve met many people in this world from all walks of life, some are still treasured friends. I met a man on a flight from Charlotte to Huntsville and this blog is about him.
I don’t fly often, but when I do it doesn’t bother me much. When the engines gear up for take off and then you feel the brakes release and the plane begins to roll down the runway… the force as it keeps you in your seat. ahhh… I love that!! Lifting off the ground still amazes me. The idea that I am in a small metal tube flying through the sky under its own power.. how is this possible?? Usually the first thing I do, after finding all the exits in relationship to where I sit… is to figure out if my seatmate is a worthy seatmate. What I mean by that is – Am I sitting next to someone who has their head on their shoulders or up their ass or even aware they have a head? I want to feel secure in the feeling that I am sitting next to someone who has a knack for life, one who would fight to live if something like a crash happened.
On my trip to New York in 2010 I met a wonderful woman who I’ve had the pleasure of making friends with outside of the plane ride. We traded emails and cell numbers on the promise of getting together at some point and we actually did that! We have shared a few meals since that flight, and it’s nice. To meet someone on the fly (not to use a pun!) like that and maintain a friendship is a great story!
I got to my seat and waited patiently for that seatmate to show themselves. I watched as person after person boarded the plane and took their seats.. still that seat next to me remained empty. I heard the annoucement that the door had been closed and still – empty. At this point I am looking at the person across the aisle.. (I need to know who I will be dealing with, counting on, oh crap… really???) Just then a man walks up from the back and plops in the empty seat.
We said hello, (nice… he has an accent) and so it began. Don’t get me wrong here. I was instantly comfortable. I assessed and decided that if some calamity happened he would keep his head…. whew!! Ok, now that I am over that survival hump, right away we bantered conversation back and forth, he was easy to talk with, articulate, knowledged and ohh the accent!! After a few initial questions, it’s discovered that he is a married cardiologist who was born in Lebanon. How refreshing to hold down conversation with someone of his stature. In any other scenario would he have given me the time of day? Hmm don’t want to know the answer to that.
It was just over an hour flight and we learned all the surface things about each other, what area we live in (as it was discovered we were both flying home), what we did for a living, our martial status, kids, grankids and granpuppies… you know, all the important stuff! Next it was on to hobbies, I bowl and play billards and he plays tennis. I don’t remember just how we lit on the subject, but he spoke of a sand collection. He wants small amounts of sand from every corner of the world. The odd thing is, I just went to Florida two weeks previous to this and collected a large amount of sand from Narvarre Beach, Fl. As I revealed this information he was beside himself. Would I send him some of it? He continued to tell me all those in his world he has recruited to bring him some sand from wherever they might travel. Since we had already discussed our occupations, he even asked if I might get the pilots to bring some back from Europe, Brazil and Mexico! He mentioned a couple times that he would gladly give me his address so that I could send him said sand from wherever.
The plane landed and as we rolled toward the terminal, he looked for, then told me he didn’t have one of his business cards. I managed to pull out one of mine and there it ended. He took it and said he would email his address for me to send a small amount of my Navarre sand. He patted my arm, wished me a safe trip home and down the aisle he went.
Time has passed and I haven’t heard from him. I don’t know why that bothers me. I had hoped to have a friendship with him. (NO! Not like that. I am very happy in my life.) The idea I could have a friend so totally different from me. I just wonder what we might have learned from each other?