Monday, August 29, 2005

élan vital

Decidedly distant. Easy to get along with, impossible to get close to. You know him. He's the guy you want sitting next to you an a plane. He'll give you your space because he wants his. He won't say a word - though you wish he would. You don't normally want to be bothered aboard flights, but just this once it would be nice. Though a seat sits empty between you, you can feel him sitting there. Just minding his own business. Jerk!

You'll fidget in your seat, trying to get his attention. Turn the pages in your magazine rather loudly. A cough here. A throat clear there. The only response you'll get is when you clumsily cross your slender legs - legs a little too long for such a manoeuvre - bumping the seat ahead. An affable smile. Almost apologetic. Condescending? Jerk!

There's just something about him. You have to know more. You'll consider the last time you craved knowledge so badly. It was...maybe never? What is this draw to certain strangers? An unseen spark. A passing of energy. A distant, ancient, connexion. You'll fall asleep, comfortable beside him. You'll sleep right through the seatbelt warning. And you'll sleep right through the landing, only waking after the plane has taxied to a stop.

You'll find two empty seats beside you. Panic sets in. An isle crammed with people. Him, half a plane away, jostling towards the exit. You'll wither, your mind filled with a thousand possibilities, missed opportunities, watching him walk away. Such energy radiating from that suede-clad back - jerk.

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