Note: I wrote this one a few weeks ago. I am not flying on Thanksgiving…for those of you who are, good luck and I wish you a complete absence of anything story-making!
As I write this I’m on an airplane, trying to remember if any of my characters have ever been on a plane. I don’t think so but this is definitely going to be in a book someday. Not that anything in particular has happened – not like the time the mean and horrible gate attendant refused to let me gate check my carry-
on (even though I was six months pregnant with TWINS and afraid to lift it and they TOLD me I could gate check it when I asked-sorry, still a little miffed over that one). Anyway, nothing like that happened, but I had a very strange experience boarding this time. I felt acutely aware of every single person I saw as I boarded the plane and the fact that they all had this big long backstory. The kind of backstory that if I were writing a novel I wouldn’t be allowed to tell right at the beginning, even though all the stories seem at this moment to be very interesting. Not even using flashbacks or prologues because you’re not supposed to do that anymore.
There is a couple who are on a bike trip. She has a gold nose ring and they are holding hands and kissing and seem to just genuinely like each other so much that neither even so much as glanced at a phone the whole time they were waiting in line and boarding. Then there is a guy in first class who absolutely HAS to jump out and rummage through his carry on after he stowed it and people are trying to board and he isn’t saying sorry, but maybe it’s life and death? Then there is the lady with kids who I thought were twins which made me feel like we were secret sisters but they turned out not to be even close so I feel like she has it easy, even though she clearly doesn’t. I won’t keep going, but the point is there are all these people and we are now all part of the same story for at an hour and a half (hopefully…if much longer or shorter it’s probably not a story with a happy ending and that saddens me). Today that seems profound. If it were in a book it would only matter if something really out of the ordinary were to happen on the plane because realistically, I’m not even talking to my seat mates – I’m writing about them so we will likely not have a significant impact on each other’s’ lives. But we could. Maybe we should? I don’t know. But it feels like it kind of needs to be in a book – only more exciting. Maybe the bike couple turn out to be spies or ninjas or something.