Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
It’s making an elderly woman nuts that I won’t sit in the S-Bahn train to the Vienna airport. She nodded to the seat across from her. She recommended it, offered it, now she’s bordering on commanding it. I’m standing near the door with my suitcase and my notebook, waving off her suggestions, scrawling details from the last few weeks. Perhaps she wants to look over my shoulder as I write, ask what I’m writing, learn about my handwriting. I tell her I will sit too much today. I try to be grateful, gracious as I can be while she pats, gestures, waves, points at the vacant spot. Finally, I sit and she ignores me. Too late. She has turned a scowl on a man reading a book nearby.
The seating director squints, trying to make out what is on the back page of the man’s book. The man and his bookish wife smile at each other over the bridge of their glasses as they turn a page. As we approach the terminal stop, they gather their belongings with eyes still dancing across the paragraphs, hesitant to settle those bookmarks in until they absolutely must. This is a beautiful habit.