I do my best grieving on airplanes. There's something about hiding my face against the window and completely losing it, knowing the person next to you, has no social obligation whatsoever to ask you the nature of your tears. Even more so, that person has a social obligation to REFRAIN from asking questions or trying to help. It's freeing, really.
My only goal is to remain silent. No vocal sobs, sniffling, gasping, nothing to make me seem hysterical. Just a girl with a good reason to be sad. My scarf works quite nicely as a mask and a medium to sop up the tears. If I cover my face and press my eyes, it looks like I am just thinking hard or showing that I am tired.
This trip, I deviated from my usual plan. It started as usual. I turned, I hid, I cried. But I guess this time I needed some sort of human connection or just general comfort. So... my seatmate wasn't under the same social obligations... he was engaged by the girl next to him. And bless him, he was wonderful...
Me - trying to recover: 'Is Denver your last stop?'
Guy - 'yep. It's my home. What about you?' (aw - pretending he didn't notice!)
I shake my head - 'nope', try not to start crying again
G - 'where are you headed?'
M, still choked up - 'I-I'm moving to Russia....'
G - 'wow, that's great! Have you lived overseas before? Are you excited?'
M, unable to talk, so I shrug
G - 'mixed, huh? Yeah, that's hard.'
'Did you volunteer for it or will you go to prison if you don't show up?'
I laugh a little
G - 'Well, I have lived all over the world. Easy places, though, like London and Paris'
G - 'I think it's excellent. More people need to do things like that. You'll love yourself for it'
Calmed down. Decided to blog about this wonderful middle aged man seated next to me. So, I used my napkin and his pen to write the first draft of this post. When we landed in Denver, the lady sitting in front of me turned around and handed me a green pen. I said it wasn't mine (I thought she found it on the floor and assumed it was mine), but she said that she knew, but that she thought I should have it because I might not be sitting next to someone so helpful next time. Sometimes you can find humanity in a big metal capsule high in the sky.