It was a crowded airport. I was between layovers. I sat at the airport bar.
The man beside me was nursing a cold beverage. I ordered a beverage, too, but I realized I had forgotten my wallet. It was in my checked bag. I had been fiscally castrated. I was penniless.
The waitress brought me ice water.
The man beside me was wearing a suit, staring into his beer glass. The conversation went like this:
“What do you do for a living?” he asked.
Ah, yes. The quintessential guy question. It’s never “Where are you from?” or “What’s your sign?” It’s always “What do you do?”
“I am a writer,” I said.
He looked at my ice water and nodded as though this explained everything.
“I’m executive marketing director,” he said.
“Yep. And you wanna hear something?”
“Well,” said the man, thumping his chest. “I’m a dad today.”
He smiled. “Yeah. My wife had a baby girl. I was in Oregon this morning, on a sales conference, when she had our kid. Want to see a picture?”
The man removed his phone and showed
me a picture as I sipped my tepid bathwater. It was a baby all right.
“What’s her name?” I asked.
“Shut up,” said I.
He grinned. “No, I’m serious. My wife loves music. Loves Shania Twain. It was either that or Janice Joplin.”
On cue, a gaggle of business guys sat at the end of the bar. People-watching never fails to hypnotize me. Watching business people is a particular favorite pastime.
Many businesspersons move through this world like they are very important. They simply exude confidence. In an airport, they move through each terminal wearing the expression of people who have the world by the groin.
Whereas I move through terminals wearing the expression of a guy who has just stepped in a pile of something.
The man wore…