I’m walking, my oversized shoes slap on the industrial carpet. Mr. Dandy is somewhere behind me. My crumpled and oversized J. Crew Chino’s uncomfortably sag off my a**. And, I’m dragging this bitch of a carry-on with its shrieking left wheel ricocheting its echo up and down the jetway.
I catch a faint mix of Purell hand sanitizer and sweat. The Purell is me, no doubt – the other half, just can’t be me. I crane my neck down to confirm, and it’s confirmed. As I lift my head back up, I catch another shot, must be from the winter coat two bodies ahead.
I’m undeterred by all of this, beaming with good fortune – a complimentary upgrade to first class.
She’s behind me, but I don’t see her.
I stuff my bag into the overhead bin, and step out of the aisle to let the traffic pass. She points to the window: “I’m sorry, but that’s my seat.”
In the tight quarters of the aisle, we are separated by inches. She’s in her mid to late 20’s. She’s wearing jeans, and a baggy red sweater. She’s an inch or two shorter, but I’m dwarfed by her, by a minimum of 1.3x my body weight. She settles in her seat. [Read more…]