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Plane Travel, Part II, The Priest and The Guy with the 53 Slide Powerpoint

May 9, 2010

So, I survived the first leg of the trip and then I’m off to DC via the MARC (train). I sit with two people and we chatted the entire route. The young woman sitting across from me was on her way to a conference and the fellow sitting next to me on his second day of work. Nice to hear people are working and getting hired! The woman, Erica walked with me as we left the train to find a taxi, along the way she spotted a man who was her former college professor. Twelve years have passed and she runs into him like that. I could tell he didn’t recognize her but it was an interesting moment that she ran into him. As we parted she gave me a hug. I loved that moment. Two strangers who hug as they part. Strangers no more.

On my trip back the following day, to my pleasant surprise I’m standing in line (B32) with a Priest getting ready to board the plane. Now, some people might not think that’s a good omen — but I did. And as luck would have it, he wanted the emergency exit seats too. Here’s what I love about those seats; usually there’s a little more leg room, but most importantly it is next to the EXIT. And, I’ve discovered that it is the most structurally sound part of the plane. So, I hit the mother-lode, I’m in the seat I love, with a Priest to the right of me and a pleasant looking fellow with a gigantic laptop to the left of me.

I began my usual chatter to get rid of my nerves and realized that the Priest actually had work to do — so for the first time –EVER, I read a magazine while flying on a plane. No talking, just reading. Me with two busy people on each side. What a revelation. Then, I confessed. I confessed to the Priest that I was a nervous flyer and that was why I was talking to him so much. He looked at me with surprise and said; ” Here’s what I recommend, breathe like this, about 5 or 6 times” (and proceeded to breathe in and out deeply for those times) then he said, “and think happy thoughts.” That’s it, happy thoughts. No pray this or that — just happy thoughts.

He did have one final bit of advice, “The way I look at it, when its’ your time, its’ your time, so enjoy all the time you have.”

Well, what do you know? How’s that for a lesson in flying?

P.S. The guy with the 53 slide Powerpoint. Didn’t get a thing out of him. He was in the zone. (and well, what can I say — 53 Slide Powerpoint?)

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