Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
He took the window seat and buckled himself in. His adult daughter shuffled belongings around the overhead compartment and gave commentary on her discomfort. He nodded at her words, not looking up or responding, but nodding so that it wouldn’t seem she was talking to herself–even though she was. Remarking on how much one had to carry around all the time, and the frustrations of traveling, she stomped to the back of the plane to speak with a flight attendant before take off. In the meantime, her father made a careful study of his passport.
In the photo, he had black hair. So much seemed changed in the years of the passport’s validity. He flipped through the visa pages, stopping to connect dates to occasions, sometimes unable to place the trip, sometimes smiling in a documented reverie. After running his fingers over one stamped visa, he began to stare at the seat in front of him, wandering into something bittersweet. His daughter huffed back to their row, slugging a glass of orange juice, and collapsed into the seat beside him, breaking into his peace. He closed his passport and slid it into his shirtfront pocket, not sharing out loud the trip he had already taken that day. He tried to look her in the eye, but she continued her ineffective list of grievances. So he clutched her free, gesturing hand and held it with kindness, with patience, until she stopped complaining, until she found she could sit still.
-Flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Budapest, Hungary