Flying over I-40 N. With Roy Orbison.

I’m in the same seat, 24E Exit.
On the same plane, an Airbus A321.
On the same airline.
On the same flight.
Returning home from same city, AA1263 DFW to LGA.

To my left, across the aisle, and up one row, is same lavatory.

And here they come.

Wife, I’m guessing, is guiding him. They are 10 rows up, and shuffling down the aisle. He’s tall, 6’4″ est.  Middle aged, gray hair. Collared short sleeved shirt. Khaki pants.

Thick, black framed Roy Orbison glasses.


The two of them make their way down the aisle. I set my iPad down to watch. She’s smiling. He’s grinning. Not a care in the world these two. And, You? A billion interconnected miracles happening every second for you to be you, and for you to see this moment. 

My index finger reaches for the volume button on my iPad to turn off the device. You can see the button. You can see the text on the screen. You can see your bag under the seat. You can see the zipper on the bag as you open your bag. You can see the compartment where you wish to set it in. You can see the two of them approaching.

She opens the bathroom door. He walks in and pushes the door closed behind him.  She waits outside the door.

He slides his pants down, without them hitting the floor. His fingers gently brush the wall searching for toilet paper. He pulls his pants up, buckles his belt, and stands. The plane wobbles, he quickly scans the wall with his right hand to find the hand rail, he grips it, and steadies himself. He ever-so-lightly skims the counter top to find the faucet, knowing from previous visits the countertops are sopping wet from prior visitors. He finds the faucet, with a few light touches learns that it is a push button. His fingers reach right, skimming, a helicopter’s rotors, and find the soap dispenser. He finds the push button on the dispenser, pushes once, and then twice. He smiles as the cool liquid hits the palm of his hand. His sense of smell acute, picks up a slight white mulberry scent. His hand floats up and to the right to find the towels, he dries his hands, and feels down and around to find the swinging trap door for the trash receptacle, the imprint of his fingers remain on the towels as they tumble down into darkness.

I look down to find that I’m rubbing my finger tips together on my right hand.  My fingers slide down to skim the arm rests and then slide further down to brush my cotton trousers. Feel. Feel. Feel. Feel…what you see.

He exits. She grabs his arm. He smiles. His lips circle to frame Thank you.

I watch the two of them walk back up the aisle.

I grab my iPhone, thumb to my Rob Orbison play list and cue up “You Got It“.

I let it run in a loop:

Anything you want, you got it
Anything you need, you got it
Anything at all, you got it…
Anything you want
Anything you need
Anything at all


  • Post Inspiration: It is a whisper. You turn somewhere, hall, street, some great even: the stars or the lights hold; your next step waits you and the firm world waits–but there is a whisper. You always live so, a being that receives, or partly receives, or fails to receive each moment’s touch. ~ William Stafford, from “The Discovery of Daily Experience” in Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer’s Vocation 
  • Portrait of Roy Orbison: Zoomer Radio
  • Commuting Series


  1. amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I love Roy Orbison…and this couple!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing makes me smile wider than seeing in my in-box “Flying over I-40…” I know I’ll be inspired.
    This was such a wonderful read, David.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. gratitude for our gifts that we are granted without asking, gratitude for those who find their gifts in spite of the challenges they are given without asking

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We take so much for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish I was half as observant and half as sensitive to surroundings as you are.

    And, I know you weren’t inside with him, but it sure sounds like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have your own amazing powers of observation, pal. Think you’re the only one here who doesn’t fully realize it. Fabulous. Full. Stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It brings things into perspective, doesn’t it? So good that they have a positive attitude against such odds. If it were me, I’d be totally freaked out having to touch everything in the lavatory to find where things are. You’ve sure got it right about the water all over the counter. Why is that? On planes, people don’t remember how to take a paper towel and wipe up their mess?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You’ve taken full advantage of flight AA1263. I’m guessing most people are unaware of what is going on around them while on board, yet you have taken your observations and turned them into works of art. You got it…

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Just saw Chris Isaak and thought of Roy . Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Going to my Roy Orbison play list now. Thanks for reminding us that we got it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pretty Women! He sings it best!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Being grateful in this moment. A gift. To see it. Another gift. To understand it. Another gift. You sharing this so we all remember. Another gift. 🙏🏻🌈

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Some posts take a long pondering over, and this is one of them. Not only have you observed closely something I know fully well myself but you have opened the hearts and minds of your devoted readers too. I’m often (well as often as I can, living in a different country than my family) subtly guiding my mother and while it never marked me greatly, pointing out all the traps for a near-blind person, I realise with the time going by that I also move into that same category. Now Hero Husband has to point out treacherous steps, non lit stones in the way and I’m aware of how important it is not to look up into the sky any longer but cast my eyes on the way I walk.
    More importantly however, I immediately thought ‘But Roy Orbison is not blind’, I went and listened to much of his work on YT – I fell in love again with his distinctive voice, the feelings he released with his songs and I’d like to thank you for this. Although I’d take my bath rather in early baroque music than, let’s say, country and western (I’m after all Swiss and not American), I always liked his songs, his voice and having re-read his Wiki page, I am once again happy having done so.
    And let’s not forget the beautiful Stafford quote. You truly are one of a (precious) kind David.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Okay. I confess. I’m in tears. Your rendering of the scene, your compassion and ability to move yourself into the arms and hands and thoughts and “eyes” of the “Roy” in the airplane. Well, your writing and your soul are amazing. Thank you – “you got it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What’s with the tears?!! Ha – of course, it is your insight and honesty. I wonder if people watch me ‘negotiate’ my life with the same reflection. I would hope so.

    We live life, each our own way. When there can be gratitude it makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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