I was sitting in the window seat on a plane yesterday. A woman with two children sat behind me. I usually go to sleep before take off so my eyes were closed. I didn’t use my innate Jedi skills to ascertain there was a woman with kids behind me. No, her youngest son’s screaming combined with the older boy saying “Mom!” over and over told the story before I could use the force. We hadn’t even taken off and the gauntlet had been thrown. The boy’s screaming Vs. my much needed cat nap.
I gladly accepted the challenge. If you can sleep standing up on the E express while a homeless man plays the banjo you gotta like your chances against a screaming 3 year old. Sure enough I jumped out to an early lead as I drifted off, amidst the screaming, just as the plane pulled away from the terminal.
But young Sebastian had more tricks up his sleeve. As we reached cruising attitude, I was awakened by our antagonist kicking into my chair. Foul Ball! Even the New York City panhandlers don’t kick. Around the same time the woman next to me took ill. Her husband stood up and relinquished the aisle seat to her. The middle seat? Well that went to the oxygen tank they bought out for the woman. Meanwhile Sebastian went all out and by now was jumping over the seats and looking down at me. He even touched my head a few times. Which is understandable. Perhaps he never touched a black man’s hair before? I’m sure each of my White readers remembers the first time they touched black hair. Young Sebastian didn’t feel like waiting until Junior High to see what the spongy afro is all about.
So now not only was sleeping difficult, it would also be somewhat insensitive. Add to that the fact that the gallon of Chamomile tea I drank before I boarded wanted out but I didn’t want to climb over a sick woman connected to an oxygen tank and you see how Sebastian was going to win. I was surprisingly and remarkably calm for a guy who had to go to the bathroom and had a 3 year old terrorizing him.
I never did get back to sleep but Young Sebastian did…just as we landed. Oh hell naw!
After the flight his mom did apologize and seemed confused and impressed by my calm. She was looking at me like people look at Batman after he saves them. Who was the calm man?!…I did look at Sebastian a few times and he stopped dead in his tracks. Without a male voice, someone truly able to ignore him or someone willing to fully follow through on consequences his mom has her hands full.
My friends are often shocked by how Zen I am about some things and at the same time so unyielding on other things.
Case in point: The time I threatened to burn down a sports bar over a discrepancy around the inclusion of a side salad with a sandwich (You had to be there).