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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Working. Flying. Editing.

Rather, rinse, repeat. That’s been my month(s) lately. Having signed up for editor duty on The 3six5 Project late last year, I knew two things would be true come this August: I’d either be freelancing with more free time on my hands than I knew what to do with, or I was going to be insanely busy.

Latter for $200 Alex.

Already a week in and the stories I see remind me that I’ve had zero time to write enough stuff here beyond posting some links and PR fodder, let alone stay on top of AdVerve. Well, shit happens and I’ll take being busy over being broke any day of the week. So as a kick start to getting back in the groove (and since previous contributors can’t submit again), here’s a story from a recent flight. For work, between edits and as the project requires, under 365 words. (After the jump.)

August 4, 2011.

Filing into Delta’s luxurious hotel in the sky while cramming whatever into wherever the already-filled overhead bins allow. Seated, buckled and waiting for a free soda and cookie feast as I notice the kid lifting his backpack up above me. A feeble attempt to help him is greeted by a smirk that says “I got this.”

Back to my own flight-check of gum, magazine and iPod. These three things being critical because of the other two things I don’t do on planes: sleep and talk to people. Some do both. I do neither.

Keeping to myself increases my risk of not meeting the president of a major company. The times I’ve engaged however, I end up priest in a confession booth at 30,000 feet. Cabs being the other place people feel they can just open up about everything to a stranger. The wife they left. The boss they hate. The mom that’s dying.

Tunes to tune it out for $400 please.

An hour on the tarmac has me breaking my second commandment and asking the former Ranger to my right where he’s from, which becomes the day’s news about the stock market, which, admittedly, I’d pay little attention to.

A weak attempt at something deep like “There’s no confidence out there” gets a nod from him as we finally take off. Ignoring inner voices telling me no, I ultimately end up offering him a lift somewhere since he lives a mile or so from me.

Pay it forward continues upon landing as I grab the backpack and place it on the seat next to the kid one row up. Except, he also needs the skateboard that I saw as we boarded but hadn’t connected as his. The mass exodus behind me is not letting me head back upstream to get it.

He greets a comment from The Ranger about getting it with a “Nah, I can wait.” He’s probably 12, but the way he says it is old soul and assured. Certainly not the way a kid traveling alone speaks.

It’s then I realize that there is confidence out there for the future, and it doesn’t at all give a shit about stock markets.


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