Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
During takeoff, a hand appears behind the head of the man in front of me. The angle seems odd. I can’t sort out how he could bend his arm to pat his own head in this manner. Then I notice it is his wife’s hand. She is holding down his hair, trying to train it flat with her palm, first with subtlety, then with a slightly firmer–if still loving–pressing motion. When she moves her fingers away, his hair stands up again. He reads the Billings Gazette, unmoved by all the primping.
After the beverage service, she tries again, her hand wet from the condensation on her cup of ginger ale. Some of the strands obey, but not all of them. Some of his strands are defiantly skyward (well, I guess we’re all skyward in a plane). It could be a lovely metaphor for marriage if I had any idea. Since I only know them from this encounter, I will instead emphasize the compassion, the nurturing, and how their shoulders touch through the whole flight.
–Denver to Atlanta