I got a real good seat on my flight from Seattle. I was almost in the front and on an isle seat too. I knew it was my GOLD card that had done the trick again. I was looking through my new magazine on whole living when Bob came. He was wearing his sunglasses and for a few seconds it looked like he knew everyone. He was talking to them. He stopped by my seat and told me that he thought he was supposed to sit on my seat. “But I am supposed to sit here too,” I said. He was a little perplexed and I understood what the problem was. He was supposed to sit next to me. The seat I was on was a little funky, like it was an add-on.
For some reason I thought he was together with this lady that was right behind him. And I thought they were both supposed to sit next to me. I wanted to help Bob figure out his seating arrangement.
“Is she your friend, and do you want to sit next to her?” I asked. “Well, she is actually not my friend, but I guess she could be,” said Bob. He looked over at the lady and said: “Do you want to be my friend?” The lady was a little uncomfortable.
Without thinking about what I said, I told him he could have my seat and I could move over one seat. I think I had ulterior motives too. My original seat seemed like it did not have it’s own TV screen, you see. And I very much wanted to watch a movie. So Bob took my seat and I was in the middle. I did not want to talk to Bob. I wanted to be left alone. I was a little tired of talking.
“Look at all this,” said Bob, at held up the blanket and the headphones. “Did you sit on all this?” “I did not,” I said to Bob. “I had it on my lap.” “Well, it is very warm,” said Bob. “I have a warm lap,” I told him and went back to my magazine. Pumpkin recipes.
Bob wore his sunglasses most of the trip. He laughed a few times, and I did not know at what. Actually, he laughed at the video showing the security procedures. I thought he probably was on drugs. Steve has told me that people who wear sunglasses inside at least smoke pot.
For the whole ten hours I did not say anything more to Bob. I tried to sleep and did not succeed much. The seat was uncomfortable, and I was not sleepy since it was in the middle of the day, practically. I was annoyed that I did not have a pill to make me sleepy. I usually have something. I just moved around on the seat trying to sleep and thinking about my whole life in reverse. Bob was sound asleep with his sunglasses on. He had had a beer before he went to sleep.
When I finally was able to nod off to dream land they turned the lights on and started handing out towels to wash our faces. I wanted to be left alone. But it was time to rise. We would land in an hour.
I thought that it was rude not to speak to Bob at all. I had nothing else to do either. I had watched all the good movies (two) and I was bored of my magazine.
“Are you going to Germany?” I asked Bob, just as an icebreaker. “Well, I sure hope so,” said Bob, always the smartass. “Isn’t that where this plane is going? If it is not, I am in trouble.” “Well, I did not mean that, I meant are you going to stay in Germany?” “No, I am not going to stay,” he said, leaving out the part about where he was going. “Where are you going then?” “Dubai.” “Dubai? What are you going to do there?” “Hey, I am Bob,” said Bob and shook my hand. He did not tell me what he was doing in Dubai. He actually did not tell me much at all. “What do you do?” I asked. “As little as possible,” he replied. “Where do you live?” I asked. “Yeah, where do I live? I am not really sure. I guess you could say I live in Seattle, but I don’t know.” He became more and more of a mystery the more I talked to him.
“I love Norway,” he said. “Why don’t we see more pictures of Norway around the world? You know, you have a very different way of communicating. Kind of direct. All people from Scandinavia seem to be that way. I like it. Don’t have to guess what you are thinking.”
“So tell me what you do for a living then.” “I fly airplanes actually. That is what I do. All kinds of airplanes.” I was surprised to hear this. I had thought he was a ski bum or a web designer. “But, I don’t know what I do. I think I just need to get away. I need to do something different.” “So do you like Dubai?” “I hate Dubai. I go there all the time and I hate it. It’s so…so…” “Artificial?” “Exactly. It is 100 times more artificial than Las Vegas.” “Hey, did I snore when I was sleeping?” he suddenly asked. “No, you didn’t. I did not hear anything. Do you usually snore?” “No, not really, but I worried I maybe did. But you would have told me, right? You are always so direct so I can trust you.” He had not snored. It was the truth.
We talked for a while about Partners, the refugees and Burma. He kept saying: “Fascinating.” He would not tell me anything more about himself at all. Just that there are some things he needs to clear up in his life and then he needs to figure out what to do. And there is this job he has to do first.
I wished I could know what it was and that I could have done something for him. I did not feel that I should talk about Jesus. I told him that I think that there is a plan with his life and that I hope he figures it out. I told him that he can contact us if he wants to and gave him my card. I wonder what the job is that he has to do. He said he would email when he has figured things out. That could mean he never will email.
“I love your name,” he said as he walked out. “It’s like a fun character in a children’s book. They could have called her Oddny.”