Dateline July 31, 4:00 AM, Chicago
I am at O’Hare with nothing to do. So, I’m watching the people, many of whom look like they were in that pod science fiction movie. No expression. Sitting outside a gate and just watching. I could write the lyrics to a great country song with this material if I just added a busted romance and being a drunk working on through. Anyway, I am now trying to observe the new developing electronic viewing etiquette.
Here is it is, and what you should do. This guy, a few seats away, was looking even more bored than me. I saw his iPad on the empty seat next to him. He kept looking at it but didn’t pick it up. He was next to a woman of his age whom I guessed to be his wife. She was talking away to him about I don’t know what. Neither did he, by appearances. Finally, after about five minutes, she pulled out her iPhone and began checking her messages. He smiled faintly for the first time, reached down, and then began working on his iPad.
That’s the etiquette. Don’t be the first one. Be bored. Look bored. And wait. Be the second one to go to your device and everything’s cool. I can learn things on this concourse. The “B” concourse of life. A very old woman walked by with a white coat on so long it drags on the floor. She’s pulling a roller suitcase with some sort of leash. Nothing too extraordinary there. Except that she’s using one of those collapsable walkers and wearing dark glasses bigger than what Greta Garbo wore. Cool as hell. How to be a hundred and still look cool at an airport. I was going to take her picture but I stopped when I held my phone up. She’s too cool to be represented like that here. Classy old lady. So,
I’m just going to enjoy her passing on by. I note her existence while she remains unaware of my own. Life on the “B” concourse.