D. None of the Above: Scenes from my recent comings and goings

D. None of the Above: Scenes from my recent comings and goings

Pixabay photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

All the world is a stage and, yes, all the men and women are merely players, as Shakespeare wrote in “As You Like it.”

Recently, my life has been filled with scenes and moments in which I have observed pieces of people’s lives.

I’ll start with something small.

Standing outside JFK Airport, waiting for a ride, I watched two people share their displeasure with each other.

The burly man with the large shoulders and the technicolor tattoos down his arms turned to the woman with a colorful Jersey Shore outfit to give her a piece of his mind.

“You’re selfish and narcissistic and you only think about yourself all the time and I’m sick of it and of you!” he barked.

“Everyone can see you and hear you,” the woman said, looking in my direction.

“I don’t care,” he spit out through clenched teeth, as his ride arrived and he shoved their large suitcases into a small trunk. “I’m not embarrassed. You should be.” The suitcases weren’t fitting the way he was jamming them in, but that didn’t stop him from trying, causing the car to rock back and forth. His angry actions had become a manifestation of his mood.

Once the luggage was packed in the back, he walked directly into the street, almost getting clipped by a passing car, pulled open the door and threw himself into the seat.

With her head cast down slightly, his companion opened her door, took off her backpack and entered the car.

On the other end of the spectrum, I sat next to a woman on a plane who exuded optimism. Recognizing her joy of hiking, her fiancee asked her to marry him at Acadia National Park. After their engagement, they stopped in Boston to attend a concert, which is her fiancee’s personal passion. Whenever they travel, they find time to hike and to hear live music.

A sales representative for a consumer company, she shared that she was a “people person” and that she was traveling on her own to see her family and to attend a bridal shower, while her fiancee stayed home to watch their dogs.

When she’s having a terrible day, she buys a stranger a coffee or breakfast, which invariably makes her feel better.

As I mentioned in an earlier column, I not only had jury duty recently, but I served on another criminal case.

This one wasn’t quite as straightforward and it involved domestic violence. While I won’t go into the details of the case now (more coming on this at a later date), I will share how much I appreciated getting to know the other 13 members (with the two alternates) of the jury.

Even though we all were eager to return to our lives, we took the deliberations seriously and didn’t race to a verdict. We assumed the mantle of responsibility that comes with serving on a jury. We didn’t agree during the discussions, with one woman repeating that she was “sorry” she couldn’t join the majority. We assured her that, as the judge suggested, each of us should listen to the others while remaining true to our beliefs.

And, to end on a lighter note, while our flight was delayed for over an hour, I listened as a woman with a small dog spread out her blanket near a young couple.

Responding to a compliment about her dog, she spent the next half hour telling the couple how absolutely adorable her furry companion was. She interrupted herself to post something on social media, laughing that she posted a picture of her meal from Wendy’s just the day before.

“Isn’t that hysterical?” she asked. It’s something, I thought.

The man, who indicated he traveled every week for business, suggested how “sick and tired” he was of delayed planes. He planned to give customer service a piece of his mind when he arrived.

While I didn’t observe that interaction, I did watch as another man passed a one way exit where guards told him he couldn’t get back to the terminal because TSA had shut down for the night.