as I order Barbq and beer.
I hear "Blue eyes crying in the rain" and scramble to pickup
my cell phone when I realize it's playing at the Starbuck's
When I travel, sometimes I am full of energy, ready to talk
to anyone. Other times - ruuuuunning for cover.
Today I am bit under the weather but relatively calm & cheerful.
I am mostly in an introverted mood as I choose my Barbq and
with my free hand, twist off the top to my Texas Shiner Bock beer.
There's a weird phenomenon that happens when I am in that
"run cover cover" state of mind in an airport.
It seems every one and their mother, brother and whomever else
happens to be passing by, wants to chat.
I am now gripping my warm beer (it never was cold) ... staring
into the bottom as I tip to my mouth.
I close my eyes and savor my fizzy moment in perfect solitude.
When I come up for air, the seats around me seem emptier now.
Relieved, I dive into my laptop and begin the tedious task of
answering the usual backed-up email.
One beer ... turns into two and at now happy prices, I am tempted
to go for a third. I reluctantly stop.
I pack my computer, sling my guitar over my shoulder and head
for Gate C37 on the non-stop to Baltimore.
Still running for cover at this point, I choose a spot on the
carpet, in the corner... far, far away from everyone.
Within minutes, a man appears and before I can flash that, "Please
for the love of god don't talk to me look" he launches into...
"So, where ya goin'?"
"Whatcha' do? Do you live in Texas? I'm just goin' to California
for business... yeah, good ole' work. Oh, is that a guitar I see there?
Would ya' sing me a song??"
Yikes! I didn't even have a chance to flash the look, let alone
say hello... and lastly, not even close to having enough time
to answer all his questions.
Too late for running I see.
I'm in a corner now - and it was all my doing ...
there is no-where-to-go ... he's got me.
"I live in Austin ... well England too but I'm here for the
winter ... Texas I mean. Heading to sing in a wedding."
"Oh, Europe!" he says "I just returned from Europe. You been to
"Oh yeah. That's where these cowboy boots came from."
"Oh sure. I was just there a better part of the Spring and Summer
actually. I love Sweden."
"So tell me, what's yer' name then?"
"Christene, er... Chris, yeah Chris."
"Weeeeell ... nice to meet you Chrissy ... So, tell me - how does
a young lady such as yourself keep loneliness at bay? It must
be difficult to sustain a relationship?"
"Uuuh ... yeah .. I uuuh .. (So I'm thinking, not only can I not
run but now I am answering the question that seems to be on repeat
in my life. Since when did flying get so damn philosophical??)
I guess like anyone really. I do things that make me happy.
Like hunting for the best coffee in the morning, buying a
snack on a moving train - and savoring it as I watch the scenery
fly by. I try to see friends and family along the road, stay with
them if I can. Sleep a lot ... at least nowadays. Eat a lot of
chocolate ... and ... just keep going I guess.
"Hmmm..." he says as he kneels his suit covered arms onto the top
of his legs.
"Sooo ... one can surround themselves with friends and family, children
and grandchildren and ultimately, we are still entirely on our own
"Well .. yeah, it looks that way uh ... "
"Jack, just call me Jack."
He stands up, straightens his slacks and boards the 5:55 flight
"Thanks for the talk Chris, it's been great! I feel a lot better"
LAST CALL ON FLIGHT 1531 TO SACRAMENTO
And he's gone.
Five minutes of being cornered and I am feeling less alone.
I suppose running for cover could also mean running for shelter ...
and sometimes that can be a good thing.