Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I sat next to Rainman

Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman"...remember him? Idiot-savant in the 1988 movie? Today, he'd be labeled as "on the Autism Spectrum".

And so, I suspect, would Brian.

I sat next to Brian last evening on the longest 30 minute plane ride of my life (final leg of the trip to see Elizabeth graduate. Which she did, by the way. "With Highest Honours", just so you can be properly impressed. I certainly am.)

Sweet looking young man, maybe early 20's, slight of build, dressed neatly in golf shirt and khakis, wire rimmed glasses, close trimmed hair. Carrying a duffel bag with a name tag; that's how I know who he was. Slight speech impediment and a brilliant smile.

Talked CONSTANTLY from the moment I sat down until we left the airplane and I lost him. Constantly. In a high pitched, slightly nasal monotone.

I heard about (in no particular order, and several times over on each item...)

His school which was waiting dinner for him.
Cables for computers and cablesRus.com where you can buy
specialty cables for $87.
Or sometimes $93.
87 and 93 were numbers apparently hardwired in his brain...they came up often and not necessarily in context.
He's engaged just this weekend to a girl who used to be a girlfriend but now is his fiancee; she lives in Georgia and he was on his way home after visiting her over the weekend to propose.
He met her several years ago at his school.
He's an airplane pilot and flies between Tokyo and Moscow
Problems with plane engines (his plane broke down in Minneapolis)
Repairs to engines (parts had to be ordered from Montreal)
Missing parts once the parts arrived. Plane is still out of commission.
Parents and step parents and the parents of the bride-to-be.
The engagement ring which cost $693 but he didn't have that much yet but her parents didn't mind and the ring will have diamonds shaped like hearts.
Downloading Disney movies from the internet.
The advantages of downloading movie files over buying the DVD's.
FBI rulings on copyright of videos/movies and ways to get around them.
How and where to find Disney movies for download.
Snow White, Cinderella, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Beauty and the Beast.
When downloading things like "Snow White" you have to be careful and look for "Snow White, DISNEY" or you might get porn (and did I ever see porn by mistake by downloading the wrong thing?)
32 minute flight.
Would there be time for drinks?
That short a flight it would keep the stewardesses busy to serve that many drinks and get them picked up again.
His favorite is Coke. If there are drinks, he'd have Coke.

There was time (barely). He had Coke. He wondered briefly about the sugar content, but what the hell, went for it anyway.

Horror movies. We had a good discussion on horror movies. Most of which I hadn't seen, but we did connect briefly on "The Ring" (which I hadn't seen, either, but at least I'd heard of it).
The pros and cons of taking a date to a horror movie.

There was more, but by 15 minutes into the flight, my mind was numb. Switching seats was out of the question...100% full flight. I took out my knitting and tried to look busy, but he overlooked my industry (or perhaps he overlooked my rudeness).

I'm pretty sure nothing about piloting an airplane was true.
Which makes me really wonder about the girl in Georgia.
If she's real, I wish them every happiness. She's surely a patient soul.

All I can say is...

Alex owes me. Big time.

That was originally his seat, but after check in, I traded him boarding passes so he could sit by Isaac and I would end up next to a stranger.

And what a stranger he was.

1 comment:

Sherilyn said...


Bottom line...you ended up being a good sport about it and he probably can't help it. But that would be the longest 30 minutes of my life, too. I don't get on planes for conversation. I get on planes to get to my destination, so leave me alone with my knitting, thankyouverymuch.

On one flight to The Netherlands, we had booked very last minute and Corey couldn't get an aisle seat. So he was going to take the window and at least have a bit more shoulder room because sitting in the middle is torture for him. I mean, I don't like it and I'm not 6'2" with broad shoulders.

Problem was, the man in our aisle seat smelled HORRIBLE. He was African, judging from his dress, and I don't know if he hadn't bathed in a month or two or if he smelled that way on purpose. I've since seen on TV where someone said that Africans often use potent scents to keep bugs away. This guy was pretty darn potent.

Corey showed his love for me by sitting in the middle, next to the stink bomb, while I took the window seat. NINE hours from Houston to Amsterdam. Corey said it would get to the point where it wouldn't be too terrible and then the guy would shift or move and Corey would nearly pass out. I smelled him, too, but Corey got the brunt of it.

So hey, at least this wasn't a stinky savant, LOL!

That's weird about all the plane stuff. I guess this guy has a very active, exciting life...in his head.