by Andy Weddington
Thursday, 25 June 2015
"Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time." William Shakespeare
She sure has.
People are strange.
People do and say and think strange things.
Yesterday I saw a lot of strange people - some of whom did and said strange things. Strange thinking assumed.
A strange stranger said to me, "That's strange."
I thought, "That's strange..."
And she walked off.
True that and what follows.
Traveling home yesterday the flying hunk of metal I was on stopped at gate A14 at Dallas Fort Worth aka: DFW.
That flying hunk of metal spewed its strange manifest out the jetway. And the strange things strange people pack out the cargo hold.
Four hours to wait before being sucked down another jetway into another flying hunk of metal.
What to do?
The closest monitors for departing flight information were to starboard about a gate away. My flight not yet posted. So stay put until confirming terminal.
Just beyond the gate in the newly renovated terminal is a common area with charging stations and open seating. Some of the seats face big windows with wonderfully interesting views of the tarmac. There was only a couple of strange people there so I took a seat facing the tarmac. A flying hunk of metal was taxiing up to A13.
I had some rudimentary sketching tools with me so I decided to do a quick sketch - knowing the flying hunk of metal would soon ingest a new strange load, of people and cargo, then depart.
About half-way into my sketch a strange stranger approached. She was in her mid to late 20s. A natural blond (which may explain all that follows). She had long straight locks that reached the center of her back on the left side of her head and the right side of her head was shaved. She had multiple piercings about her ears and face. She wore strange clothes.
She stood to my starboard (not obstructing my view) and looking down at my sketch said, "That's strange," and wandered off.
I thought, "That's strange. Man, she's strange and what a strange thing to say - has she never seen anyone sketching a flying hunk of metal in an airport before?"
I finished the sketch.
4 x 7 in. watercolor pencil sketch
I stowed my painting gear and wandered to find a quiet place to eat.
Afterwards, I checked the monitor for my next flight - A16 (a miracle - usually different terminals and gates as far apart from each other as possible). But would it hold?
I found a seat looking down the terminal's main passageway for all the strangers.
And with another sketching tool - iPad - decided to focus on strangers.
I saw one about 50 paces away seated and facing me who looked interesting, comfortable, and stationary for a while.
I started to sketch him.
A few minutes into the sketch a strange man sitting near me who saw what I was doing rose, took his bag, and positioned himself about 20 paces in front of me completely blocking my view. In profile, he turned his head and looked directly at me.
Strange. Did he want to be in the sketch? I can only assume so, he did not move.
I waited some 10 or 15 minutes and still he stood. So I moved on to sketch something else.
Shortly thereafter the A16 gate agent announced the flying hunk of metal would begin ingesting its strange load. I put the iPad into the appropriate flying mode.
Once seated I could not get the image of what I was sketching out of my mind so decided to complete it from memory. On the aisle of three across the middle seat was empty. Ten minutes into the sketch the middle passenger - a woman ten years (that's being gracious, I think) my senior showed up.
She was a momentary mess settling in. Hectic. I noticed she had a Nook reader and the print setting was so large only 25 or 30 words made the screen.
She saw that I was sketching (on the iPad) and without any other comment said, "That's strange."
I thought, "What, you've never seen anyone sketching on a flying hunk of metal before?"
I finished the sketch.
I've been thinking about yesterday's travel.
And this morning concluded people are strange and people do and say and think strange things. Not that that's news.
I do not believe sketching in an airport, or aboard a flying hunk of metal, is strange.
But I crossed paths with two (at least) strange strangers who believed, and opined, to the contrary.
As to Mr. Shakespeare, not some but all fellows (men and women) are strange; Nature at work.
Ergo 'strange people' is redundant.
And that's today's (strange) sketch.
Strange I am; by definition, by Nature.