The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

There There

A gift from the sky. Budapest.

The Nice Thing About Strangers

He is the man with dark, well-slicked hair and a perfectly pressed dress shirt–imposing even in the shuttle to the airplane. He helps a little old lady move her suitcase into the overhead bin with only one hand. Calm and assured, as if it were his private plane, he settles in.

Yet it is a sight to see, during take-off, how he grips the armrest in anxiety, the hair on his giant hand failing to hide how pale his knuckles become. As a child yells “Woooooo” in delight from the back of the plane, he looks away from the window and to the floor. He puffs out his cheeks as the airplane climbs, perhaps a louder exhale than he expects. He sits up straight, plants his feet. Then the old lady who accepted his help offers hers in return. Her arm stretches across the aisle to pat him sweetly on…

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2 comments on “There There

  1. M-R
    October 17, 2014

    I was once like him. It’s incredibly internally destructive, the fear of flying.
    A delightful mini-image, as ever, Paige.
    P.S. When’s your birthday ?

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      October 18, 2014

      December, M-R. I’m a Sagittarius. 🙂
      This was one of my favorite airplane scenes of all time. I never would have imagined he would be afraid to fly. I love it when people take me by surprise with their vulnerabilities! Thank you, World!

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2014 by in Travel.

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