March Slice of Life No. 13.
I watch the jet bridge for Gate A28 move slowly like a giant arm toward us, latching onto our plane.
The seat belt sign blinks off with a ding. Buckle clicks in rapid fire follow. In a single automatic move — quick and sweeping — I rise from seat 4C, step into the aisle, reach upward, open the overhead bin, retrieve my roll-on-board, and place it in the aisle behind me. I briefly admire a shiny, pale pink hard-case roll-on-board still in the bin, next to the spot mine had been. I pick up my shoulder bag from my seat and stack it atop my roll-on-board.
My luggage is coal black. I like to wear my color, and today it’s my brick red boots and my favorite scarf, a red-black hounds-tooth check, that accent my black traveling ensemble.
I notice the brightness of the Phoenix sunlight streaming through our aircraft windows. At home the skies had been heavy gray with rain.
All around me, passengers are performing the deplaning dance — juggling for some aisle space, retrieving their bags from overhead bins, searching for their personal belongings in seat-back pockets. The man in front of me reaches for the shiny pale pink hard-case roll-on-board. Instinctively, I look to see who is sitting next to him, wondering who owns the pink bag, thinking of how quickly such a light-colored bag would be scuffed if it were mine. Setting the bag into his seat, the man turns slightly toward me and the lady who had slept the entire flight in seat 4D — the seat across the aisle from me, the seat behind the man. His words, spoken so all can hear, drop with finality — the kind that dares anyone to disagree. “My wife says it is copper.”
I look at the bag again. The other lady [Is it significant that he spoke to the only two women in first class? ] matter-of-factly responds, “It must be the light.”
I feel a grin spread across my face. I can’t help it. “Perhaps your wife subliminally wants a new bag,” I offer.
The word “pink” hangs unspoken in the air.
Passengers begin moving off the plane. The man places his coal black shoulder bag on top of his pale copper bag and moves toward the plane exit. I follow, still grinning, watching the color go from pink to copper to pink as the sunlight plays across it as we move from plane to jet bridge.
What do you say?
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