Thursday, 15 September 2011

be careful who you spill the beans to

...they might be a writer.
some time before dawn i awoke refreshed after a glorious bear-like sleep in transit over the pond and made a few notes from the previous evening...

the man who lowers himself ponderously into the seat next to mine introduces himself as an "empowerment psychologist" and although i am clearly tethered to my phone and skipping around between tunes, persists in attempting to converse.

he informs me variously [and without effort on my part] that he hovers between continents, spends six months each year in Australia, that he has a "very independent wife", that travelling is a lonely business, that he has been doing it for thirty-five years. 

out it pours, a muddy swollen river full of the flotsam of too much detail. the speakers planted visibly in my ears are no deterrent.
eventually he comes up for air. 
i use the interval in which his tortured cells are gratefully gulping oxygen to smile sweetly that i, on the other hand, am well content with my lot, thoughtfully stroking the thin silver band encircling my ring finger [which in reality has nothing to do with anything] and direct my attention back to the music, switching from Ben Webster inappropriately making whoopee on his sax to Leonard Cohen who somewhat unnecessarily but in delicious honeyed tones assures me "there ain't no cure for love"

the self-styled psychologist mutters something about taking a sleeping pill to "get through this boring flight", downs a couple of tablets with a flourish and is comatose within minutes.

must be strong stuff, i've seen sensitive horses take longer to succumb to intravenous anaesthetics.
enveloping myself in a leaf-scented shawl and some virtual hugs sent last-minute by a kind friend i drift into the arms of Morpheus myself, reflecting on the invisible line that separates men of honour from the other kind.

of course, i may have entirely miss-interpreted the poor chap, but it wouldn't have made half as good a story.


  1. That last bit about not being as good a story has me chortling. Safe journey, even when it puts us into vulnerable contact with wackos.

  2. It has been my experience that most people who enter the field of psychology are seeking a cure for their own ailments.

  3. for an "empowerment psychologist" that was quite a wimpy story - sad, lonely, dreary. If he isn't clinically depressed, then he was certainly up to no good - either way, not a good advertisment for his services!

    Thanks for the chuckle. :)

  4. A gorgeous Irish lass was telling me a similar story once....Her diagnosis
    "eeez so far up iz own hole"

    god, some men think they are a necessity ...what a Hoot

  5. Maybe he isn't an empowerment psychologist at all but thought that would impress you? Little did he know. Enjoy your time of recuperation from your journey and long trip home.

  6. ha! this was great. last flight i was on that man's sister sat behind me (thankfully) & told it ALL- including photos, it was so unbelievable I took notes to & shared a similar report with my sister. if only they knew, actually, they'd probably talk more!

  7. Bewdy newk! Your last two lines, like the surprise endings of some of the german poets of the romantic era, tickle the old funny bone . . .LOL. I'm still chortling. What a boorish bore - no match at all for Leonard Cohen.

  8. wondering if you were dealing with the vagaries of second (or last) class...and in any case, some men just assume you need to know their story. sigh. query: was HE empowered, and "sharing the joy"?

  9. I wonder if the man needed his eyes tested????

  10. As in he couldn't/didn't see the ear attachments...
    hugs :)

    The word verification word is 'vittyear'!!! nice word

  11. ROCK on the novel darl......plenty of material in the ether and the boy next door. Can't wait xxx Gin

  12. I don't think for a minute

    his message wasn't completely transparent.

    Talk about captive audience, and if he was a shrink, he's be onto the cues as to how interested you were.

    as in.. not.

  13. well i'm just mesmerised by that beautiful sky ;-) .x

  14. What a story! Still laughing at the ending.

  15. I used to believe people when they described who they were.... now I watch and listen to find out for myself. Sounds like his idea of empowerment is about taking up space.

  16. wow! i think i sat next to the same guy last month on a trip home from madrid . . . .

  17. Hello India. Surprising that someone who describes themselves as an empowerment psychologist comes across as so disempowered...sounds like he needs to give up the power trip and get happy. A lovely sense of floating in your story.

  18. One hears the most amazing stories from seat mates in airplanes. Some people use seat mates as therapists or confessors.
    You have a way with a story. This one gave me a good laugh...I can see you in my minds eye.

  19. Bless him......I bet his wife is thrilled to bits when she sees his suitcase out and ready to be packed....
    My neighbour a chap recently renting next door, someone Ive only shared 'Hello' or 'Great Weather' with...told me thursday that hes been off work sick this week.
    Oh Dear says I , hope your on the mend...( big mistake that..)
    He went on to tell me hed had a lump removed ( raises his arm to show me the armpit area..)from here...under local anaesthetic and whilst he was there anyway, had another op done to save him going back later.
    Oh yes, gosh, poor you!
    ........Yes says he.....I had a circumcision as well, also with a local anaesthetic...
    I know how you felt India lolol