I’m reading Mary Karr’s The Art Of Memoir, and in one chapter, she wrote about getting stuck next to chatty strangers on airplanes. She would rather be trapped with a talker who is painfully or extremely transparent than one-note boring. That transparency is always more interesting than a person who wants to present a glorified “image” of themselves. I agree.
For several years, I frequently flew for work and it was mostly uneventful. My seatmates mostly kept to themselves, and I was only occasionally annoyed. Like the kid who kept kicking the back of my seat. And the nervous passenger that gripped my arm during most of a bumpy flight. Or the woman who snored while continually passing horrendous gas during an overnight flight back from Vegas. But rarely a “talker”.
I recall one trip where a passenger dumped the details of her torrid affair on me like she was in a confessional. Her story lasted the entire flight, and it was more riveting than reading the in-flight magazine. She thanked me as we unboarded, and I just smiled back. It’s easy to listen to someone’s drama if you never have to hear it again. Or again. Or, again, with 20 other versions and no real desire in hell for a solution. Y’all know what I am talking about. With a stranger’s confession, it’s one-and-done unless they ask to Facebook with you. But that is highly unlikely if they just spilled incriminating evidence.
I am writing a memoir about a period in my life, and it’s very freeing, actually. it’s more liberating to be transparent and not give a rat’s ass than trying to create and maintain some image to make ourselves look less imperfectly human.
Besides, it takes a lot of work to be anything other than yourself. Even yourself “in Christ” will be unique and not like any other….just less airplane drama.
Have a great weekend, peeps!