On the first leg of our flight to Detroit last Wednesday, I shared my row with two very quiet young women. Very, very quiet, they were both asleep.
But, on the second leg of the trip, I had a young man on either side of me, both angels kindly sharing our little journey. As I sat down and got settled in, Tejas, the 21-yeard-old on my right, offered me some of the dried apricots he was snacking on. Unusual move, I thought. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me on an airplane before. Unfortunately, I declined when I should have accepted, but it opened up a way for us to talk.
Tejas, it turned out, is the Indian word for brightness, like the sun. He had a twin brother named for the moon, sort of a yin yan naming concept for the brothers. Tejas was from San Jose and was just making his way out in the world, starting with a college at one place, quitting, starting over at another. It was that goofy wheel spinning that we all do at some point in our lives and because he wasn’t my kid I was able to listen and nod without getting concerned or coming up with some really good advice so that he could get back on track soon.
Tejas was really brilliant (like the sun), he chattered and laughed all the way to Detroit. I felt like I was talking to one of the kids from the high school theater department, one of “the verbals,” as I call them behind their backs. I really like those kids a lot.
“Does that cloud look like a polar bear, or is it just me?” He asked at one point.
“It’s just you,” I answered and then we laughed! “Oh, okay. I can see his nose, yes, it’s a polar bear!” I finally gave in. Tejas laughed some more.
Later in the trip he leaned over and said, “________, __, ____.” “Huh?” I asked as I took out my ear plugs. Tejas thought that was hilarious, and let me tell you with a 28-year old marriage and two teenagers in the house, nobody laughs at my jokes (unintentional or otherwise). Ever. Sometimes I smile at them myself, but I try to keep it inside because there are punishments for being a funny mom. I was loving this Tejas kid.
To the left of me was a guy who was closer to 30, than 20, and he was much quieter so I didn’t get his name. Still, at one point I reached into my backpack, pulled out a Monte Cristo sandwich and took a bite. Then I twisted around and handed the sandwich to my son who was seated directly behind me. “I had a bite of your sandwich Wynn,” I informed him, hoping this wouldn’t cause a full rejection of the food I was handing over, on the other hand, I didn’t want him to be surprised that there was a bite out of it. Feeding children can be touch and go sometimes. Then I twisted back around and settled into my seat. My left-hand seat mate casually handed me a napkin. Interesting, I thought, as I took the napkin – thanks mom, I mean, guy.
Then he very enthusiastically said, “That sandwich looked really good. I almost got that one but I went for the chicken instead.” I felt a little bad because Tejas and I had been ignoring him. “Yes, it was good,” I said. “Thanks for the napkin.”
I am more-or-less paleo (it’s a special category) and don’t eat bread but when I am hungry I am willing to do just that, as one bite isn’t going to kill anyone. Heck a couple of loaves will only cause a slow death. Well, I could have eaten that whole sandwich it was so good, and I really wished that this fellow had chosen the Monte Cristo sandwich instead of the chicken.
At the end of our flight he wished me a good trip to follow, and I wondered how long it has been since a stranger had been so kind – excepting Tejas to my right. Weird that I should end up with two nice people in my row. I do hope that I smiled well enough to convey my appreciation.