Airplane Chatter

Prompt #11 from 642 things – Tell a complete stranger about a beloved family tradition

I never mind flying. I had a window seat, and the gentle hum of the jet engines was usually enough to put me to sleep. Or sometimes I’d read a book. But this time I was worried about being late, so I kept looking at my watch, knowing full well that watching would make the time pass slower.

“You in a hurry?” the person next to me asked.

“Nah,” I said, “Just don’t wanna be late.”

He laughed and knowingly asked, “Special occasion eh? Where you headed?”

“Nah, not really,” I said. “And home.”

“So how can you be late?” he asked.

“I might miss out on a hamburger,” I said.

“Well you can stop and get one on your way,” he said.

“Nah you don’t understand. Every Friday night we cook hamburgers at home. They’re the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted.”

He laughed.

“Oh I gotcha,” he said. “Well in my family we…”

And he went on to talk about steaks and beer, or something. But I wasn’t listening. I was in rural Texas, sitting on the back porch picking on my guitar, and waiting for the burgers to be done. The air was crisp and clean. The grill was out under a shade tree, but I could still smell the good smell of hamburger and Worcestershire from the porch. Everything moved slower out here, so I reckon I made it on time.


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