I kept a notebook for observations during my trip to Paris. After all, Paris – City of Writers mais non?
I wouldn’t say Paris was a vacation. Vacations are to unwind, relax and park the brain in neutral. My Paris was an adventure. I was constantly on the go discovering new places and new things every day. Always in motion. Let’s start at the beginning.
I arrive in Philadelphia for my transatlantic flight and hop over to Terminal A with a sense of excitement and anticipation. Terminal A is designated as the ” International Terminal.” Pretty exotic stuff until I see a flight to Pittsburgh at the gate next to mine in Terminal A. Back to earth with a thud.
Two women wearing matching George Strait t shirts. ” The Cowboy Rides Away” is the message on the shirt. It’s for his last tour. Must be nice to be able to choose a time and a place to say goodbye.
Sat next to an a a German couple for awhile. The man is wearing a cowboy hat. Maybe he was at the George Strait concert too.
I was plenty early for my flight so I wander the terminal. It’s very cold. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and a fleece. Still chilled. This provided a contrast to what I would find all over Paris which is the lack of air conditioning. For that reason alone I would consider moving to France. My disdain for ac is pretty well documented on these pages.
Sitting in the uncomfortable chill I decide to turn on my mind reading capabilities. I see a couple seated diagonally across the aisle. A man and a woman, obviously married by the way they sit. They wear married for a long time faces. They are attached but not really. There is one seat between them but they are much further apart than just that one seat.
She’s staring out the window and killing time wondering where it all went wrong. He is not old but his clothes fit like he is an old man. They simply hang on his frame. He is over 50 to be sure, that’s not old.
His clothing choices are odd. He is wearing things in an attempt to look younger. It’s a jumbled style that says young but on him just looks like a mistake. At a certain point and age it’s time to stop wearing items that have ” Old Navy” plastered on them. Why wear someone’s advertising?
They sit one seat apart but the distance is much greater in time, space, years, wants, hopes and dreams. They haven’t been on the same page for years. When they board the flight to Paris and sit next to each other it will the longest time in years that they have been so physically close. Mentally she will be miles away. She lives permanently in a miles away state.
She thinks, ” I am empty, I have nothing left for you. I think you might feel the same way too but I have no way of knowing since we don’t talk or share anything anymore. I don’t care. My energy is focused inside on me. I have nothing left for you.”
There is a tag line from the movie ” Alien.” “In space no one can hear you scream.” In your head no one can hear scream either. Only you.
“I would leave but it’s not that easy. Here’s the damning part of my hurt. You don’t talk but you expect me to understand. I don’t talk and I expect you to understand.”
” I hate myself for being weak.”
I snap myself out of my writer’s trance and hope that they haven’t noticed my intrusion to their private lives.
The boarding lounge is starting to fill up. So are the pages.
Author’s note : I slip in and out present and past tenses fairly easily. It’s due to my laziness as a writer. That’s what editors are for I suppose. Having never been published professionally I make that grand assumption.
I get on the plane humming ” Amarillo By Morning.”