I can’t account for my laxity in updating my blog other than I have been busy with another writing project (more of that in due course) and then of course we decided that we couldn’t face the rain any longer and nipped over to Spain for a very last minute holiday. That pesky jet stream; it’ll be the ruin of the Olympics at this rate. Which reminds me: I was in a shop yesterday and overheard the assistant talking to a customer. “Well”, he said “there’s nothing we can do about it, is there? It’s the bloody jet stream.” As if we COULD do something about the weather at any other time. I though it was amusing anyway. Moving on then.
I didn’t waste those hot, sunny days in Spain you know. Far from it. I took my notebook along for the ride and have decided to put together a series of flashes inspired by my trip. Here’s the first, which, logically enough, occurs entirely at the airport. Comments, as always, appreciated.
Swami Knows Best
I always thought you knew everything there was to know about someone once they had their clothes off, but my friend Sue (who used to date a Swami, so has a rare insight into these things) would say you only see the real person when they’re out of their comfort zone. For most of the men I’ve known this pretty much amounts to the same thing.
‘What’s taking them so long?’
‘There’s a lot of people in front of us,’ I say, ‘the other desks are empty.’
‘They charge twice as much.’
‘Ergo, we’ll be queuing twice as long.’
‘What? Did you just say “ergo”?’
I look away. Getting to know someone’s sense of humour is supposed to be half the fun. I don’t think he enjoyed that.
We inch closer; I kick my bag forward.
“Pack light,” he said, “they charge for baggage.”
The golf clubs don’t count, presumably.
‘Couldn’t run a bull fight in a bull ring.’
‘It’s called a “corrida”.’ Did I tell him I spoke Spanish?
‘It’s called barbaric. Not that they care.’
His nine-iron has lost its fleece jacket and Brian’s head is reflected on the surface, sweat shining on his gargoyle pate.
‘Some start to a holiday this is.’
We’ve only been here ten minutes.
My mother would not have been impressed: “Such impatience is unbecoming in a fortunate man,” she’d have said. His impatience with the crew on the plane would be unbecoming in any man.
‘She probably doesn’t even speak English.’
I look at Brian, his red face now streaked by viscous sweat. I’d been feeling fortunate myself only yesterday when he surprised me with our tickets.
‘They’d better bloody have a convertible left.’
“Do you think that’s wise?” I want to say, “to expose your head like that?”
‘I was rather hoping for air conditioning,’ I say instead, diplomacy being one of my stronger points.
‘It’s probably best if you leave me to deal with the car, Fiona.’
So that’s what it feels like to smile compliantly.
‘At this rate I won’t even make a six o’clock tee time.’
‘You’re playing golf this evening?’
‘Well I didn’t bring these along for the hell of it, did I?’
No, but he appears to have brought something along for the hell of it.
‘Your turn,’ I say. I smile as kindly as I can at the agent, hoping to lay a cushioned barrier between her frazzled exhaustion and his acid glare.
‘And will your wife be driving the car?’
‘No, the “wife” will not be driving.’
I couldn’t feel any cheaper if he’d said “whore”. Thank God I keep my driving licence in my purse.
‘The “wife” will be driving actually,’ I say, pushing his clubs to one side, ‘and she’ll be needed her own wheels. Espero que es posible, señorita. No tengo una reservaciòn.’
Later, from the air-conditioned comfort of my car, I watch him drive away from the airport. He turns to his clubs which are strapped into the front seat and I swear he smiles at them. He’s better off with them anyway: at least that shiny nine-iron’s smiling back at him.
© flyingscribbler 2012