On the flight to Houston, I was seated two seats over from a very strange, inebriated young woman. Tammy, from Billings, Montana, struck up a conversation with the guy between us, soliciting information from Derek, Married Guy™ from Canada, sharing truisms like “anyone who doesn’t know what they want to with their life by the time they’re 24 is a failure” observed during her (almost) twenty-two trips around the sun. She also volunteered a a lot of personal information to everyone within earshot.
My nuisance filters were already buckling from the captive oversharing, but when she told Derek:
I’m going to Houston for plastic surgery. Hey, feel this.
I… had to look. She was referring to her nose (no, not boobs as everyone was expecting). I went back to my puzzle book before she whipped out her phone to share her before and after photos. It was divine providence (and reaching cruising altitude) when the seat belt light binged. I was out of my seat and headed towards the back of the plane to use the toilet.
I returned back to my seat just before the flight attendants had begun beverage service. Tammy had persuaded Derek to accept her $20 and use his credit card (because she “doesn’t believe in credit cards,” and that’s what the airline accepts as currency) to purchase her Bacardi and Sprite. When she produced ID, he demurred, but refused the money as he didn’t have $14 change.
The drink escalated her talkativeness and touchiness – her hand on him as if they knew each other for twenty-two trips around the sun. Poor Derek was trying his best to be a polite, happily-married Canadian, captive, deflecting her obvious attempts to — Hey, you can get a cab ride downtown with me. If you’re not doing anything, come to my hotel this evening and hang out. — pick him up.
Perhaps it was the beer running its course, or Derek needed a break, but he excused himself to go to the restroom. Tammy started talking to me.
Tammy: What are you reading?