"Passengers, flight 229 to Seattle is over sold, we are offering $200, a hotel room, and a guarantee that you will be in Seattle by 3:00 tomorrow. We need 4 takers…"
Looks like it will be a full flight to visit the lovely and talented Ms. Cora. When I boarded the plane, the seat that I really like, and the one I had on my previous trip to see her was already taken by a well dressed African gentleman. (I call him this because above his well tailored suit jacket, he had a necklace with a red, yellow, and green pendant shaped like Africa. He also wore a red, yellow, and green knit cotton looking scarf. Personally, I would feel that he would be offended if I called him anything else.) He was athletically built. About 5'8".
Anyway, I wanted the seat right by the over-the-wing-exit-door on the right. For those of you unfamiliar with the layout of the Southwest 737, over the wing, the seats on the right side can be like this:
|SEAT #1||SEAT #2||EMPTY|
|SEAT #3||SEAT #4||SEAT #5|
While all the seats in these two rows have extra legroom, due to the fact that there is a seat missing, there's super legroom in front of seat #5. The downside is that you cannot reach the tray table in front of you, it's that far up there. Like I said, that's my fave, but the African already had it. No big deal, I grabbed seat #1 and settled in. Still more legroom, but on the aisle. Eh, better than seat in the exit aisle on the left between a HUGE man and a HUGER woman.
S.M.O.H. (Small Miracle Occurs Here – A term I use when engineering a computer solution, and haven't worked out all the answers. I just put a "S.M.O.H." box in the diagram.)
The African gets up, takes his bags, and exits the plane. I can recognize the hand of providence even if I've never been to Rhode Island. I hop up and grab the catbird seat.
Whoo Hoo! Major score! This is going to be a good flight.
About 10 minutes later, guess who reappears in the aisle looking for a seat? Yup, the African. I intently avoid his gaze as he scan the plane looking for the last empty seat. He saw it, but kept looking desperate to find another seat. In the end, he wedged himself between the HUGE man and the HUGE woman. You could see in his eyes the misery and dread.
Sure, I felt a little guilty, but not guilty enough to give him his seat back. I said I felt guilty, not that I'd lost my ever loving mind.
And there was a squealing baby and toddler sitting behind me, so it's not like I got off completely scot free.
Later, I realized that this story had some fine parallels to my story with Cora in regards to her EX. He walked away from the catbird seat. I was content where I was, but knew there was more out there. I don't know if he feels trapped where he is, but I'm not giving this spot up for him, EVER.
Happy feet. Lose seat.