There is this girl in my row on the airplane. She broke her iPod. She is going on and on about how this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her. She must be younger than I thought. She tells her traveling companion that really terrible things have happened to her and this is the worst.
One time she broke her phone in three pieces. One time she got locked out of her house and it was raining and now she has broken her iPod and this is without a doubt the very worst thing that has ever happened to her.
And I start crying.
I have to pretend my book is sad.
I’m not even involved in their conversation. I cry because what a wonderful and charmed life she must have had. I want to tell her about my dead baby. I want to tell her about betrayal. I want to talk about sickness and fear and hunger. Drunk drivers and cancer. Being truly let down and the way debt can so quickly spiral out of control. About being alone, or being smothered. I want to tell her about the job you hate so much you get physically ill every Sunday night. I want to talk to her about how I am going crazy.
I want to tell her how much I hate myself sometimes and how much worse that is than breaking something that is entirely replaceable.
I also kind of want to give her my iPod.
I am sure that isn’t the bad part. I have to believe she is sad because of the lost music. She probably doesn’t want to listen to Duran Duran, Sepultura and The Dandy Warhols anyway. She might not even know who Alice in Chains are, or were, or are.
Could I hand her an iPod and fix her problems? The one I have in my bag I bought with credit card points. It means nothing to me. I like it. I don’t need it.
Why do I always cry on airplanes?