The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

The Nod

Waiting in the Arrivals Lounge, they stand, they gaze toward the gate area. A woman in bright white shoes tugs at the hem of her shirt in the wait, adjusts her purse on her shoulder, tugs her shirt. Another woman in flip-flops stands, rests one knee on a seat nearby and loses her sandal. She hunts for it, puts it back on, starts to bend her knee onto the seat again, stops herself only as her shoe slides off once more. It’s a group of fidgeting folks, happily impatient, wearing smiles so as to be fully prepared.

A gray-haired cowboy arrives with a bouquet of flowers and his keys hanging on his hip. He sits next to me and nods, then locks his eyes toward the gates. He shifts from side to side, he glances into the flowers and takes a long, steadying breath.

White Shoes meets her adult son, fresh from a flight. She nearly cries as she holds him, a grown man with a backpack, tugging at his t-shirt like his mother. Cowboy and I both grin, first to ourselves, then vaguely toward each other. My friend exits and heads my way, she and I greet each other with big smiles and move toward the parking lot. I nod to the Cowboy once more, noticing he seems young and nervous just now. He rubs his gray beard, adjusts his hat, and nods right back.

(Though we weren’t in trucks, this Cowboy also reminded me of the Farm Finger.

Kansas wildflowers

11 comments on “The Nod

  1. heavenhappens
    May 8, 2014

    Places of raw emotion where everyone lets their guard down ~ railway stations and airport arrivals ~ beautifully captured by you.

  2. ME and the Boss
    May 8, 2014

    People in Pennsylvania wave an arm to all passers,
    the hello is reserved for those they know.
    Here in Florida, nobody does nothing…miserable old farts
    from Long Island or Boston…
    Love your style … the nuance observation …
    it will be a must try for me, somewhere, soon.

    • πŸ™‚ Thanks so much, ME. I like these notes of greeting. I find it is less frequent when I travel around in Europe, but I am a creature of friendliness, so I nod, smile, or hello nonetheless.

  3. Jeff Walker
    May 8, 2014

    While reading this I was thinking that you were eventually going to discuss “the finger wave”. And at the end of the article was a link to precisely that. πŸ™‚

    • Jeff, If you’re a Nebraskan, you definitely know that wave. πŸ™‚ I was there for 7 years and now I miss that acknowledgement from fellow motorists!

  4. Pingback: Be there in the moment | Mere Observations

  5. Kim
    May 8, 2014

    I’d like to find out who he was waiting for…

    • Me too, but my friend arrived first and we were in a time crunch. This is the sort of thing I do wait to watch when I’m solo. πŸ™‚
      Maybe it was a famous adult cowgirl?

  6. joannerambling
    May 9, 2014

    This was just wonderful

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