Thursday, August 5, 2010

D Day Minus 181 (Sep 9, 2009): Keeping up with the Joneses (Part 4): Secrets

Thirty thousand feet, somewhere over Tennessee, you handed me your earbud, with a big smile. I was a little annoyed because you made me miss part of my audiobook, The Reader by Berhhard Schink. It was at a good part too. But, I played nice and smiled because I didn’t want to rain on your parade.

I exchanged my left earbud for yours. You had our theme song from our Hawaiian trip playing, It’s All Right by Christopher Cross. This time I smiled and it was for real. You’d been humming that song a lot today and it always brought back memories of good times. On top of that, you looked like a confined emu, dancing to the song in your seat. You rocked side-to-side to the beat of the music from the waist up like you were laying an egg. You even craned your neck long enough to make your chin into a beak. I wondered if you’d secretly watched my Facercize DVDs because that last move would’ve really gotten rid of any signs of chicken neck flab. I was never so proud of you. I even tried to emulate your moves. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. You were the master, the sensei. I was but a student basking in the greatness of your goofiness.

You finally let me get back to The Reader after you made good and sure that we’d paid our respects to Christopher Cross. I was really getting into my book, especially since we had some loud talkers behind us. I was almost done with it and wanted to finish before we landed in Houston. The Reader was about a 15 year-old boy who had an affair with a woman twice his age. The woman’s name was Hanna. The name you’re supposed to give your first daughter only with an h at the end. Kate Winslet from the Titanic plays Hanna in the movie. Well, I was at the part where he runs into Hanna years later when she is being tried for a Nazi War crime. She was a guard at a concentration camp, but really didn’t know what she was getting into because she hid the fact she couldn’t read. And probably didn’t know the extent of the role she played in the concentration camp. You would have probably liked it, but I didn’t tell you much about the book because you were staring out the window listening to your iPod. And mostly I wanted to finish the book.

The Inflight Service cart rolled passed me with all of its clackety-clack-clack, barely missing my monkey shoes with me in them. I debated whether to brave the back of the plane. You know how I hate the smell of blue water and disinfectant. I noticed a guy two rows ahead moving around in his seat like he would be competition, so I handed you my iPod and headed to the back of the plane.  So nature could take its course.

“You’d better hurry or you’re going to get stuck back there.” You said, taking both earbuds out of your ears.

“I’ll be fast. If the cart gets there before I do, tell them I want a Diet Coke. You can have my pretzels.” I paused for a second and added. “If it makes you feel any better, you can make something up about your old mother having a bladder problem and forgetting the Depends.” You rolled your eyes and said. “Just Hurry.”

As I navigated to the back of the plane through a little turbulence and people's stinky feet hanging over the aisle, I thought about The Reader. Why didn’t Hanna just come clean about not knowing how to read? What was she afraid of? Why didn’t anyone else catch on? What is a secret? Is it just a thought you’re too embarrassed to share? When does it take on a life of its own? What’s baseball cap guy's in aisle 23 big secret? What’s business woman's in aisle 26 big secret? What's  loud snoring guy's sitting next to business woman big secret? What's my big secret? What's your big secret? What is so secret about cancer? When did it take on a life of its own? Why can't the smartest people in the world figure it out?  When does a secret become a mystery?   

I came up with so many random answers to my questions. But came to one conclusion. It depends on what you think about the secret and a secret is a thought and a thought is a belief and a belief is just a thought you keeping thinking over again.

I was so happy to have part of an answer, I didn't notice that I turned the puny faucet on full force in the bathroom stall.  And gave my zebra top water spots. I said something a sailor would be proud of, but I’ll leave that your imagination. Then I hurried I back to my seat and the obstacle course of stinky feet before the service cart plugged up the aisle.

“Did you miss me?” I asked, buckling my seatbelt, and checking to see if you got my humor. Only you nudged my arm and pointed for me to respond to the Flight Attendant. After I got my Diet Coke and you got your Apple Juice, I patted your hand and leaned over to the left, and whispered, “Do you want to know a secret?”

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