Strangers meet in airports—it’s such a cliché, yet it happens every day. Our intersections bring together disparate folks on a shared mission, Point A to Point B, sometimes on a journey extended by extenuating circumstances.
The pair next to me chatted merrily—if at high volume— as I took a stool at Four Peaks Brewing in Terminal 4 at the sprawling Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. By the time I had a Peach Fruit Ale in front of me, I knew at least half of her story without any inquiry on my part. She’d come into money as the result of a dear relative’s untimely demise, and was criss-crossing the country to come home from a glorious relax in Cabo. He lived in Colorado, a construction worker on his way back from a family visit. They had co-located layovers that had lasted the previous two hours, and they were not nursing their respective drinks.
Believe me, I’m not judging. But I do believe strongly in being compos mentis before rolling onto an airplane just in case I have to use an emergency exit.
She’d moved on to catch her flight by the time my Hop Knot IPA arrived, so that I could reflect a bit more as I enjoyed its marriage of pine resin and grapefruit peel smoothness—a feat not always achieved. I finished my nearly three-hour layover with a check to my watch and a mad 5K back to the C gates for fish tacos to go from Sir Veza’s.
Because missing that intersection (me and great tacos) would’ve been a sad story indeed.