merissanathangerson

Man On Plane

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Kenny from Milwaukee

I sat next to Kenny from Milwaukee on my Westward bound flight. He was wearing a floor-length black mink coat and giant puffy slippers meant to look like black and white tap shoes. I found him earlier, waiting for takeoff, pacing angrily because he was waiting on his fourth layover since the night before. At that point he was wearing alligator leather shoes and disappeared for a while. I thought he was a preacher, all these books in hand. I figured all that pacing was bible toting.

He came back excited like a kid on Christmas holding these giant puffy slippers which he quickly changed into, letting out loud sighs and oohs and ahhs of relief. I found out, waiting in line together to board, that he had been in those alligator shoes since the night before when he was kicked off a plane for misconduct. He was an antique trader and he made a friend on the flight who was also interested in antique trading. They began talking about Japanese snuff boxes and the man behind them asked them to “shut up.” Apparently he had been in the war and didn’t want to hear about Japan.

Kenny said he turned around and said “Man, this is America, and we can talk if we want to talk.” And that man behind him kept telling him, belligerently, to shut up, talking down to him. After enough shut-ups Kenny went a bit nuts on the man and all three of them were escorted off the plane by cops. “Well,” Kenny said, “he brought the black out in me.”

The man who was antagonizing Kenny and his friend was banned from the airline for life, and the other two were re-routed, hence Kenny and my time together in line. I was sitting alone in my row on the plane when there was suddenly a big to do and Kenny kindly gave his seat up so a family could sit together. He chose my row, of the many options, and continued talking to me. He told me all about smoking doobies on the beach in California and then all about how antique trading was where the money was at.

He pulled a bunch of valuable wooden pieces from his bag and handed them to me to evaluate. “This one was smuggled out of Russia, it is worth ten grand,” among others. I had my camera phone and asked him if I could photograph his hands. He was wearing gold and diamond rings and had on that mink. He said yes, but told me to wait, and pulled out a money clip with a wad of hundreds and posed proper before handing me a photo of himself in his other mink.

Somewhere soon after that I put on headphones and took a nap and Kenny pulled out a soggy Whopper from his leather briefcase, wedged between all those antiques. I was eating oatmeal from the snack pack and was a bit envious of the burger and coke to my left. Kenny asked me to make sure I put his photo on my website, and that I title it, “The Cool-Ass Man Who Sat Next to Me On the Plane.” I try not to ever break a promise.

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