Sunday, July 16, 2006

Coming Home

I was so glad to be coming home from North Carolina on Friday. I spent the last couple of hours wrapping up last minute items and watching the clock.

At the airport, I made it through the ticket line and flopped down in my seat at the gate. I could see the airplanes at the gates and (like always) I remembered when my sister's arrival day. It was different when my son arrived because 9/11 had made it impossible to wait for him at the gates. I watched as the pilots and the flight attendants boarded the plane and then I boarded the plane myself.

I was seated at the very back of the plane. I had my bottle of water and my book - I was prepared for the hour and a half trip back to Detroit. Next to me was an Asian family (with the cutest little boy) and I remember thinking it was funny that all four Asians on the plane ended up sitting in one row.

The father was sitting next to me and we didn't talk. On the flight to North Carolina, I had sat next to a woman who's body language had invited conversation, but the father gave me the definite impression that he didn't want to talk. He angled his body away from me and tilted his head back almost like he was planning to sleep. This was fine with me. I don't do small talk well so it took some stress off of me.

I took out my book (which I'll write about later) and was lost in my own thoughts, only to be interrupted by the pilot telling us that there were storms in Detroit and our plane had been grounded until further notice. Ugh. We were in a small airplane with very uncomfortable seats and they were telling us that we wouldn't get an update for at least an hour.

Most of the travelers on the airplane were business people and they looked resigned to the situation. Cell phones, laptops and PDAs came out of their carry-ons. I called my husband to let him know he shouldn't come pick me up on time and to log onto the website to check for arrival times. I called my parents just to complain and to help pass the time.

I listened to the Asian family next to me and wondered where they were from. They didn't speak English (at least I hadn't heard them speak English) and they seemed a little confused by the events. The flight attendant explained what was happening and the father finally nodded, but I had to fight a feeling of guilt. Because we looked a like, for some reason a part of me was telling me that I should be able to help them, but I couldn't. I didn't know what language they were speaking and, even if I did, I wouldn't be able to help them. Logically, I knew that I couldn't do anything, but it was uncomfortable to sit there and watch their confusion and wish that I could do something.

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