who was that girl?


a beautiful woman sat next to me on the plane from seattle to sacramento. she was a bit older, early thirties or so, and blonde. she flipped through the pages of a sacramento magazine. it was either talk to the beautiful blonde woman or listen to the jezabels on my iphone.

"is this your first time visiting sacramento?"
"no, i'm from there."

we had this in a common, a similar hometown. what did she do? she traveled around here and there. her husband was a helicopter pilot, and they were last stationed in louisiana, and before that, germany. she had a daughter, and the kid was with her dad in olympia. what did i do? i just quit my job, working in an office. i was waiting to hear from the peace corps, but i didn't know where i'd end up yet, or when i would be going. so until then, i was just going to go to sacramento and then to manila, and then who knows what?

she told me that taking the trains around in europe was easy. she said she'd never been to the philippines, but that she would like to visit it eventually. we never even introduced ourselves. we spent the whole flight talking, and i didn't get her name. there was no mention of facebook or email or anything like that because there wasn't a point to it. she was a married woman, and that was that. why bother? it was nice, though, the conversation. we just talked and talked and the flight didn't seem that long.

we got off the plane, and she said something about how she loved coming into sacramento's airport. i had nothing to say about that. i was too busy thinking about how my dad was gonna ask, who is that girl? and i'd have to explain that she was just someone i met on the plane, and she was married, so what did it matter? she said something else, and i was just like, uh huh. i was thinking about that moment when i'd see my parents, and i'd feel like a child again, like some dumb kid who didn't know anything, and that whole grown-up conversation i had just had with the blonde woman would have become nullified.

her father and what looked to be her brother met her first. her father hugged her and she laughed and looked so happy to see him. i hesitated for a second, but then i said, fuck it. why would i introduce myself to this married girl's family? i looked for my parents, ready to play the part of the child who failed at life, the one who couldn't make it in america on his own. my dad and i waited at the carousel, and we barely talked.

we were the last ones there, standing at the carousel. i was worried they'd lost my guitar, but later i discovered they already had it waiting for me in a small office. the blonde showed up. "it was nice talking to you," she said. she shook my hand. "have fun in the philippines!" and that was that. just one more person i talked to for a little while, and who i will probably never see again for the rest of my life.

why wasn't that my life yet? flying helicopters, being well-traveled, married to a gorgeous, intelligent woman? why was i the kid again who loved useless things like writing and playing the guitar? was i ever going to get to be an adult?

"who was that girl?"
i knew you were gonna ask that. i fucking knew it.

2 comments:

McBrick Marketing said...

I hate that feeling. I get it all the time too. Still a kid at heart, but wanting to live up to my parents expectations.

Liam's Blogger said...

no need to swear