anywho, so the flight into LAX was pretty much uneventful. it was a short time away, so the 6 hour flight gives much to be desired in the sleep category. i get there, have problems adjusting, and by the time i do adjust its time to get home. well the day after i arrive at home i start a couple days of long shifts, so i need to prepare. im all set to get a little shut eye on the long flight home. i walk the airport, scouring over what i can package in my bag. i stock on ice in my nalgene for a cold refreshment during the flight should i wake. and i pick up some other snacks as i would most assuredly miss the on flight beverages and not pay the obscene prices of their food. i even picked up a paper to peruse over as reading helps me sleep.
all set, GREAT! im good, im planned, im collected...just need to get to my seat and close my eyes. sweet right? not so much.
now im in the middle seat and to my left is a nice lady who is quite and seems conducive to sleeping on flights. to my right is a mid 40s man who to no fault of his own cannot keep still, keep quite, or fall asleep. for 6 everlasting hours do the surrounding passengers hear his intermittent moans and grunts.
during the movie, marley and me (a very sad movie by the way) he would laugh and make comments out loud...the type of comments you and i would definitely keep to ourselves.
prior to the video he had a newspaper in hand, continually pointing and grunting, then folding to a different section. at the pace with which he did this it was almost a positive that he wasn't even reading the paper. he'd eventually crumple the paper, stick it in his side which was also my side and hide it there to only select it again for use.
in between papers he did stop to have a light snack. a muffin, apple, and a juice. all of which ended up everywhere. the muffin fell to the floor which i attempted to help on the 1st and 2nd times. the apple made touch down before we did approximately 4 times, and the juice lay nicely on his shirt, lap, and a bit on my right arm.
countless times did he unbuckle, regardless of the seatbelt sign, to retrieve his lost items. even the stewardesses gave up on correcting this action due to the lighted signs.
bless his soul, the gentleman directly in front of this guy had his seat back pushed, shoved, kicked, kneed, pulled, and manipulated so that you could visually see his hair move from the swift actions by my next door neighbor. he truely took it like a champ, and i believe he had it worse than i did.
now the entire time i was in attempts to help when he dropped or needed something and skillfully ignored the constant vocal exclamations. no i wasn't mad, or disgusted. i felt sorry for the man. i felt sorry that he had no control over this. im sure that there were a number of things going through his head that even he probably had no idea of. as mentioned he was of maybe an average 40's, and wasn't dirty or unkempt. he looked clean, proper...he looked like the social norm. his actions are what set him apart from the rest. he obviously has mind enough to keep himself this way, and not into the deep caverns of the mind that many end into. realizing this, i not only felt sad, but also impressed.
what an accomplishment of his own to maintain composure over whatever was making him this way, and keeping himself in tuned with the world of today...mobile and social. it would be easy to believe others would have turned into the house trolls with overwhelming agoraphobia. very impressive.
so 6 hours of this experience, i was definitely tired. and i paid a little price, i was late getting up for work the past 2 days and rushing was my penance. i do believe that i have adjusted more to the daily time and living here on the east. and in reflection i feel thankful for the time i had with him. it brings to light a number of different things. i am grateful for that which i have...my health, my mental health, my family, my life, even my troubles. my troubles for that i know, increasingly so, that it could definitely be worse. i could have similar setbacks, and i may not be as strong as this man was. its a different spin on looking at things. when i first met my wife, then girlfriend, she would constantly say 'it could always be worse'. well that's been a bit of a stable in my daily life. i get killed at work, a horrible day but not the worst...it could be worse. during the winter i almost crashed twice in one commute to work...i didn't, and it could have been worse. a fight with my wife, it didn't escalate...it could be worse. my mother in law lives and works with just under 30% of one lung, im lucky to have 2.....
to take from this is the statement, "it could be worse". whatever it is that you are into, just think of what others are overcoming or attempting to. in the fast paced world we live in, take a moment, set aside a few seconds here and there...
realize that not all have that,
and do not for a second take for granted that which you have been given...
given by your own hand, another's, or by no physical hand at all.