Tuesday, July 28, 2009

i arced from coast to coast

At the hotel coffee shop that morning, the waitress was wearing a pink uniform with “Florence” written in script over her heart. And the man who checked my bag had a nameplate that said “Ben.” Behind him was a long row of royal palms. On the plane, two women poured drinks from a cart they rolled down the aisle—“Debbie” and “Lynn” according to their winged tags. And such was my company as I arced from coast to coast, and so I seldom spoke, and then only of the coffee, the bag, the tiny bottles of vodka. I said little more than “Thank you” and “Can you take this from me, please?” Yet I began to sense that all of them were ready to open up, to get to know me better, perhaps begin a friendship.

"Traveling Alone," Billy Collins

[Chicago Avenue west of Winchester Street]

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Chicago, Illinois, United States

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