Always the Way
“I can’t breathe.” The voice was shrill with panic. I threw a look over my shoulder. A very large woman was slumped in her chair, hands grasping and clutching as if trying to pull oxygen from the air around her. A tiny little man squirmed uselessly beside her.
As I watched, he jumped up onto his seat and screeched at the top of his lungs. He reminded me of a Tamarin protecting its tiny territory. I thought I’d better see what was up.
“Hey mate, what’s up?” When he didn’t answer, I figured he couldn’t hear me for all his screeching. Other people were starting to look at him too so I didn’t feel so bad. I tried again but louder. “Hey mate, what’s up?” He still didn’t answer.
Annoyed at having to spend my waiting time actually doing something, I waved at him to get his attention. He stopped screeching and waved back at me. I waved some more. He repeated my gesture, smiling widely. The large woman looked decidedly peaked and wriggled around violently.
“Hadn’t you better do something,” I said, pointing to the woman. He copied my gesture, pointing at her as well. “Yes, that’s right,” I said, “She needs help.” He smiled widely again and pointed at the ceiling.
The cute receptionist came from behind her station. “Excuse me, sir, but I have to ask you not to stand on the seats, please.” Her voice was overly loud and carried all around the waiting room.
The little man didn’t get down but started swaying back and forth, randomly pointing across different planes. The receptionist huffed and glared but the man seemed oblivious. I decided to rescue the damsel in distress.
“Hey mate, she’s talking to you,” I tried, waving my hands again. He spotted me and waved back vigorously.
“Buh-bye,” he said loudly, and then jumped off the seat. He grabbed the large woman by the hand and tried to pull her up. “Mama, we go home now, Mama.”
She stopped thrashing around, stood up calmly and straightened her skirt. Then she patted him on the head and allowed herself to be pulled out the door, leaving the receptionist and I both stunned at the events.
Thankfully, I regained my composure quick enough to ask her if she’d like to meet me after work for a drink. She sniffed haughtily. “Not if you were the last dick in the world.”
Unfortunately, the response I wanted didn't come to me until after I’d walked out of the door.