One of the great pleasures of work involving travel is that sometimes a kindred spirit happens to sit in the seat next to you. I was blessed by such an encounter yesterday.
It started when another business traveler, Rose, and I were seated in 8-D and 8-F. She had the aisle. I had the window. Rose is a platinum elite flyer. I recently made it to silver. She says she flies this route often but rarely gets to fly first class, despite her elevated status. There are too many other even more frequent fliers ahead of her who win the coveted first class seats on long, popular flights at desirable times.
We had an empty seat between us and joked that this was our version of first class, fully expecting another passenger to squeeze between us. When the flight attendant closed the door, we looked at each other and smiled. Had there been another passenger, we would not have gotten to know each other at all. As it was, the four hours flew by before we knew it.
Rose told me that she rises at 4 a.m., uses that time to read, and often reads memoirs. From her I learned about Kelly Corrigan and a hundred other subjects. This book is now in my Amazon cart. And here is a youtube video Rose told me about. Enjoy this delightful description of the Guess Jeans War of 1984 between herself and her mother:
Youtube has a number of other videos you might enjoy by Kelly Corrigan.
I doubt that a genuine first class seat would have brought me as much pleasure and inspiration as the one empty seat between two strangers who became friends. The “middle place” between us was empty. We filled it with stories from our lives.