Saturday, November 24, 2018

Monster Tots and Angels

I had the awful luck on my shatteringly early flight home from Spain to find myself seated in front of a babbling toddler. While he kept up his ceaseless patter, I assumed my pained traveler facial expression, pinching the bridge of my nose. Oh, man.

We've all been there, including the inevitable part where he curiously pitched forward to explore the crack between the seats in front of him - i.e. the space just behind my skull - where he began singing some incoherent toddler song right in my ear, the grubby little monster.

As I began to whimsically consider the murderous potential of the various objects in my backpack, I paused to consider whether I might be overreacting. There'd been no screaming or crying. No kicking of seatbacks. And his song was actually oddly soothing. In fact, I was surprised to find my eyes tearing up a little, and my muscles relaxing.

A few minutes before, I'd passed through the airport where many years ago the comely manager of security - whose name I never knew - and I had fallen in love while she dashed me through the obstacle course moments before my flight's push-back (I briefly told the tale here). She shepherded me through the gate, I stepped into the plane, the door began to be shut, and we both peered back in synchronized startled recognition. Please find your seat, sir.

It takes a lot to make me peer at my life through drama glasses - to shift to the cinematic view of it all, or to dwell upon the absent. But this stretch of BCN's airport corridor is a perennially tricky traverse, one of my few enduring raw spots. I was still shaky as I boarded the plane and took my seat.

But then a soothing song was sung to me, so intimately, by the clich├ęd monster tot from the row behind.

I guess this is pretty much the archetypal Slog posting. Trace the evolution of the perspective here. Or consider this. And note that this is 100% perceptual framing all around.

Most importantly: this would be an especially good moment to reread this posting about angels.

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