The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Love Your Neighbor (Coffee Helps)

The man in the seat in front of her is restless during the flight. Watching movies, shifting in his seat, opening a book, closing it, writing something, stopping. She’s just received a warm coffee and it is at the mercy of his movements. So she holds it hovering an inch off the tray table. She’s reading a book, warily she sets down her coffee for page turns, then lifts it again. She wears a half-smile the whole time.

Between the space in the seats, she watches him leaning to unlace his shoes, to open the airplane blanket, to gaze at the magazines, to study the emergency exit card, to move for no good reason. Finally, he spills his beer on his tray. She’s grateful that her coffee will not suffer the same fate. She takes a slow sip, as if it is also important not to finish the coffee quickly only in an attempt to save it. She will, instead, savor it. And she remains patient with him, smirking and sighing, like her neighbor is a dear child who just doesn’t know any better.

–Flight to Vienna.


7 comments on “Love Your Neighbor (Coffee Helps)

  1. M. R.
    February 26, 2014

    Have never NOT loved these vignettes of yours, Paige. We flew Lauda, once, from Sydney to Vienna; but I don’t remember the trays bearing so ominous a warning. Had they, I may not have prevented myself from rushing off the ‘plane! [grin]

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 27, 2014

      🙂 We put a lot of trust into tray tables from time to time. Even if it’s a cold beverage, a spill could result in a long time parked in our own beverage. Hehe. Thank you, M.R. I know you don’t like thanks, but I like so much to see your comments.

  2. joannerambling
    February 26, 2014

    Coffee might help but what if you don’t drink coffee………………
    You are amazing

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      February 27, 2014

      Hmm, would orange juice do it?
      Joanne, you are amazing. It’s been such a gift to find even more nice strangers here in the comments.

  3. Maccabros
    February 26, 2014

    Beware of the storm and be sure to have ALWAYS Coffee… 🙂

    Danke für die schönen Zeilen Page…


  4. hughcurtler
    February 27, 2014

    Your neighbor sounds like me in flight! Well done.

  5. Jonathan Caswell
    February 28, 2014

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

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