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In just three days last week I took six flights. There aren’t many places you can fly directly from where I live unless your destination is a hub airport or, say, Orlando or Las Vegas. Around here you get used to connecting flights and look upon any time you can fly directly to your destination as a gift from the gods, a heavenly nod of appreciation for all the times you missed your connecting flights in Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Washington or New York.
I started last week’s airline travel as I frequently do, with a stack of magazines and photocopies of things I’d been meaning to read but just hadn’t gotten to yet. Two or three reasonably uninterrupted hours on a plane can be a godsend when it comes to catching up on your reading. If I play my cards right, I actually jettison carry-on weight as the trip progresses, leaving behind newspapers and copies of The New Yorker, The Economist, The Nation, Fast Company and other periodicals for others to read.
If I’m going to have even a little while to take pictures when I’m traveling for business I’ll bring along a “real” camera. But on this trip last week I wasn’t going to be in any of my destination cities for as long as twenty-four hours, and most of my waking time would be spent with clients. Except for the aforementioned reading materials, I was traveling light, my only camera being the one in my phone.
So it was with some disappointment that I didn’t have a better camera when I noticed that the woman sitting across the aisle from my on my first flight of the first day had such fancy fingernails that I simply couldn’t let them go unphotographed.
Not that they’re great art. Once ladies stopped using red fingernail polish I stopped paying much attention to fingernails. But these were too ornate and bejeweled to overlook. So as soon as we’d gotten settled into our seats and it was decent to look around and establish eye contact I admired the lady’s fingernails and asked if I could photograph them.
It turns out this lady works with autistic children at a school in rural California. I asked if her nails sometimes hurt the children she works with, especially since some autistic children can be quite active, curious and unpredictable. She assured me without a bit of hesitation that her nails are not dangerous or, at least, “…not after the edges have been worn down some.”
Later on I noticed the couple below. At first I thought the lady might be scared of flying and that the man was comforting her. Then, when he didn’t take his arm from around her, I concluded that he either thought that if he removed his arm she might float away or, more likely, that they are two lovebirds scared of being separated.
Love and Support, 2012