So it’s November a year ago, and I’m on an overnight flight to Toronto.
I don’t fly a lot, so I don’t know how cold it’s going to get, and I shove my parka into the overhead and proceed to shiver for the next 4 hours.
Everyone around me settles in, Owen watches a movie, drifts off to sleep.
I’m too cold to sleep, too nervous about flying to commit to a whole movie.
Apparently, so is the guy on the other side of me. He’s pulled window seat, but in the middle of the night, so it really doesn’t count for squat. I stare at him, if only in my periphery. Probably 50, or a tired late 40’s. Balding, white fringe, glasses, biggish nose. Long legs, long arms, uncomfortable in Economy Class. He shifts and squirms and it’s clear he’s not going to sleep either.
He turns to the entertainment console in front of him. None of the movies grab him. He struggles through the TV shows, and now I wonder if he didn’t like any of the movies, or if he just couldn’t figure out how to make any of them appear on his screen. He settles on music.
I can only take so much awkwardness, look away for a bit. When I turn back, he’s in the middle of Lady Gaga – The Fame.
And if I thought he’d been squirmy before, oh hell, that was nothing compared to what this CD was doing to this guy.
He’d run through the songs, one by one, faster and faster, but couldn’t figure out how to get off the CD.
Then he gave up, and just let it play.
I think about him. Still. I wonder what happened.
Did he internalize all that frustration, spinning it and spinning it in his mind until he deplaned, go home and burn his dental practice to the ground?
Did he succumb to the music, open his mind, broaden his horizons, wonder what else he’d been missing out on while his radio had been permanently tuned in to CBC?
Did he get off that plane and head for the first gay club he could find, shake it with cute boys until he was sweaty and ready to drop, no longer denying the truth that hadn’t dared to previously speak its name?
Guess I’ll never know.