- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
“Why did you cut my toast like this?” Simon whines. He’s on the verge of tears. This morning I cut the toast the way my mom and dad used to cut my toast- “Like an airplane,” they used to say. “It’s cut like an airplane,” I say to Simon as I take a piece and fly it around his head making airplane sounds. I even throw a round of gunfire sounds for the true effect. The weaponry brings a slight smile to his face as he takes a bite of his toast.
We are all running late this morning. Simon is the only one dressed and at the breakfast table. Ollie is dressed but rummaging outside in his tennis bag (always a bad sign) for money because it’s his 1st day of swim class after school and he wants to be sure he has cash for the vending machines. It’s 7:30- Â Simon’s and Ollie’s carpool is here already. I help Simon with his socks and shoes and get them out the door.
Back inside, Debbie is folding laundry and there are 3 different alarm clocks going off upstairs.Â Theo, Henry, and Sam are still in bed each in their various stages of waking up or sleep. There’s a piece of “airplane” toast left on Simon’s plate. I take a bite, this time without the airplane sounds.
Later on that day I am dropping Sam off at his high school tennis practice. He says, “Just drop me off at the corner.” I ask him, “Don’t you want me to drive down the hill and drop you off closer to the courts?” He says, “No, this way you don’t have to make a u-turn. I don’t mind walking.” He gets out of the car and walks down the hill. I watch him from the top of the hill and he’s greeted by a couple of his teammates down below. On my drive back home (after I pulled off a u-turn) I roll down the widow and stick my hand out the window and pretend it’s an airplane.
We are over Pittsburgh. I’m in an aisle seat. Seat 3D to be exact. I sat in the same seat going to New York. I usually fall asleep before the plane even takes off but the software salesman sitting next to me just wont be quiet. He’s showing pictures of his 3 daughters on his phone and keeps asking me if they could be models. I say they are all beautiful. In his Queens accent he says, “You’re shitting me right.” Next to the software guy, next to the insurance guy sitting in the window seat, outside the window there’s a lighting storm going on over Pittsburgh. Evey 4 or 5 seconds a big silent bolt lights up the clouds in a display that a bit scary. I’m thinking of getting my camera down from the overhead but the captain turns on the “Fasten Seat Belts” sign. It’s going to be a bumpy flight. The software guy brings out a open bottle of wine and says, “I got this Zin from duty free and it’s pretty fucking good. Bah tenda. 3 glasses see vu play!” The flight attendant says passengers aren’t allowed to pour their own alcohol on the flight. I’m thinking to myself that’s a great rule.Â Â Actually, he’s drank most of the bottle before he even got on the plane. The flight attendant brings us each a half glass of the wine and we toast to a safe trip as the lightning show continues over Pittsburgh. I think about seeing the Hale Bopp Comet in the northwest sky, a smoldering Ground Zero while landing at JFK a couple of weeks after 9-11 and seeing The Green Flash over Bora Bora from my window seat many years ago. The slide show next to me continues. Doesn’t this guy ever download his photos? I tell him I have 5 boys and he says to the guy at the window seat, “This guy has 5 boys. He’s gotta fucking basketball team!” I think to myself, this is going to be a long flight.