April 29, 2005

This Toddlin' Town

I love vacations.

I rarely, if ever, take time off - I'm much like the Black Knight from Monty Python & the Holy Grail, wearing myself to the very core and pronouncing, "It's only a flesh wound." Now, I've learned the power of time off, of sick time - to regenerate, contemplate, and basically employ time in a profitless and non-practical way.

Yesterday was gray and rainy in the Lou. Headed to a task force meeting that I hadn't attended in a long time (from my last job), and then a Young Friend Committee meeting for BGTM (first symptom of being a chronic civic overachiever - attending meetings on your day off. However, I was finished by afternoon, finished packing, made arrangements for care of my kitty, and then off to Lambert. I had expected the usual - crowded flight, with my sole focus on a book I was reading based on perusing the cover at Left Bank Books.

Then, she walked in - a rather attractive young woman who chose the seat next to mine. No, this isn't one of those kind of posts - she is engaged, and the airline had overbooked the plane.

Anyway, you have to love a conversation that begins:
HER: Just a word of warning - I'm a puker.
ME: I don't care - just aim forward.
Normally - and many of you reading out there may not believe this - but I'm a shy, quiet kind of guy. However, my super power is that people, for some reason, begin sharing their innermost with me - maybe it's the counseling training, or a really strong mojo, but she and I began talking. It started off innocently, but it trailed through - from personal issues to things we missed about Chicago (namely quirky places that stayed open), to our backgrounds, to the fact that - amazingly - I happen to know her uncle. (He and I went to the same high school).

And they say St. Louis is an insider town.

As the plane landed, I gave her my contact information, as well as made a formal introduction. It was a pleasant and humbling experience - for awhile now, I've been craving basic human contact. Nothing major, just the ability to really connect with another human being. Most of my friends have been busy, and I've been really isolated thanks to work (and other issues). If I gain nothing else but last night's conversation, I'll be grateful. From here, it's onto my godson Logan's birthday and my high school reunion...and you'll get the skinny right here.

Mandatory Comics/Pop Culture Post - Caught this item on Polite Dissent. Personally, not a big fan of the artist, but it's only two issues - what damage can he do?

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