Layover

If there’s one thing I like about airports and air travel (and after six delays and seven unexpected hours in Atlanta, there may only be one thing), it’s seeing people reading. I can finish books by train or car or plane without the struggle of distraction at home, and when smart phones and iPads and laptops are stowed, I’m always pleasantly surprised to see that others can, too. There’s something about turning pages that transports to destinations unintended, and I want to watch the twitch of lips and brows braided in consternation and wonder. It’s sexy and secret and spine-cracking, words the most refined of fuels to be had in any terminal.

I never ask anyone what they’re reading but I like to guess. The two are equally intrusive, but I make no excuses for my book voyeurism.

Should I allow myself two things to like about flying, the second would be reaching that altitude between the clouds and the hot blue atmosphere, the sun a blazing yoke.  Better yet at night, fuzzy and soot-deep, the moon velvet-swaddled and shining. It makes me want to write about space. Or start working out regularly so I can be an astronaut. Or live another life as a girl from the future.

None of these things is anything like the other.

Where have you been lately, on purpose or by accident?

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