Murf, in her eternal attempt to keep my humbled, has written a story from the girl's point of view.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
From my journal, 1997
I was ready to get home. My day started long before dawn as I caught the 6:45 AM flight to Salt Lake City, where I had spent the day in meetings. Finally, I was heading home . It was almost 9 PM when the gate attendant finally called my flight and I, along with 20 or 30 others, headed out onto the tarmac to cram into one of those SkyWest Airline cigars, a turbo-prop, the type of plane someone even my size has to duck to get into. My seat was on the right hand side, the row with a single seat. Next to me, across the aisle, was a young girl, maybe three years old. I stashed my briefcase, pulled out a book and began to read, hoping to pass the time quickly on the hour-long flight. The plane took off, climbing up into the night. After getting to our cruising altitude, the flight attendant came by with peanuts. Without looking, in a motion that seems to comes naturally, I tore open my bag. Without looking up from my book, I shook the peanuts into my mouth, downing the bag in no-time flat. The attendant then brought us drinks and I had to stop reading in order to lower the tray. When I did, I noticed the young girl looking over at me. I smiled and she smiled back. “Here,” she said, holding out a peanut. For just a split second I thought about shaking my head, “no.” After all, this peanut was in hands of a toddler and there is no telling where those fingers have been. But then I thought better of it, and took the peanut and said, “Thank you.” She watched me intently as I threw health advisories out the window and popped the peanut in my mouth. She beamed and dug down into her bag and offered me another. I was glad I didn’t squelch her willingness to share.