Planes, Trains, Dignity and Lard

I reach for cool-ness
But grasp air, topple, trip, fall.
Story of my life.

I am traveling for business and as happens when you travel out of Cincinnati, I found myself in the Atlanta airport. Traveling always provides good Family Haikus fodder. This trip is no different.

I am on the PlaneTrain in Atlanta (the underground train that moves people between terminals). The hottest man about 0-10 years older than me I have ever seen (outside of Frank and Bruce Willis) is casually leaning against one of the poles scattered about the vehicle, checking his phone. Think Richard Gere in Pretty Woman but with more gray.  He is dressed in all black (jeans, sweater, blazer), with cool, understated canvas orange shoes… and you can tell he works out, especially if you stare at his chest for a long time. The PlaneTrain voice-over urges me to “hold on, the train is about to depart the station” but I assume my ass’ grip on the handrail at hip height that I’m leaning against is sufficient.

I am wrong.

I lurch backwards, clawing the air for the pole and sticking my foot out concurrently to stop my rolling bag from becoming a bullet. I catch his eye. “Thought we’d lost you” he purrs. “I always forget they are serious about that handrail bit,” I mutter. I am such a dork.

I have now positioned myself firmly between pole and handrail, assured in my physics that I won’t move again. And I am right. But then I realize that the force with which I have pressed my backside to the rail has my butt-flesh wrapping around it and nearly touching on the other side.

Shoot me. I swear I’ve been working out and have lost nearly 2 dress sizes… yet here is my fat cleaving like the Red Sea around this metal tube.

So I shift my weight to reduce the backward pressure in case uber-cool-hot-gray-hair-muscle man can see through me to my ass.

And the goddamn PlaneTrain comes to an abrupt halt… and once again I lurch with the grace of a toddler on roller skates coated in lard (the skates are coated, not the toddler), nearing losing my bag in the other direction and what was left of my dignity.

He catches my eye again. I just shake my head, smile in a self-deprecating way (men of a certain age like that right?) and say “I will either make this flight or die trying” and I leave.

I didn’t look back but I’m sure he was watching the ass dent pop back out, thinking that maybe he should have made more conversation with me. His loss.

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