I’m sandwiched between two men. Middle seat, waiting for the pushback tug to be fixed for plane #3 in line for take off. I am plane #4. Thirty, forty-five, sixty minutes on the tarmac and finally we are in the air.
To my right is Andrew. He laughs and looks up.
“Our president is advocating for gun training for teachers in the wake of Parkland. What is wrong with him?” he says, shaking his head incredulous.
We start talking, the way seat mates do. Conversation dips into working for local billionaires (we both have), the Seattle freeze, living in south Seattle as a white person, and local Japanese restaurants started by Shiro. It is a rambling casual connective conversation. We talk about the lore of the Lopez women who allegedly murdered her husband, chopped him up and incinerated him in the burn pile.
We spend time on equity. He lives with his Norwegian wife in Columbia City, a largely minority neighborhood being gentrified in south Seattle. I work in non profit management and have functioned as the interim executive director for the Vietnamese Friendship Association in his neighborhood. We triangulate on the location of this non profit through arm motions and local landmarks.
We tiptoe into politics. I steer towards the hard, authentic equity work I see happening.
“I like your optimism-I’m not sure” he states. “We are not looking at things right.”
It is time for beverages and snacks. The flight attendant reaches over and hands the man in our row to my left his Coke. He has been working on his laptop the entire flight.
Andrew leans in quietly and whispers, “Look at the sticker on his laptop.”
I wait a suitable time. I glance left and see the iconic white Starbuck mermaid. Then I read the words surrounding the round green sticker. Travel is about edges all around you.
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