Lorraine had packed so much stuff in her carry-on bag that she could barely lift it. She limped and half-dragged the bag and her huge purse towards the plane when her zone was called and it was her turn to board. At the entrance to the plane, the flight attendant made a snotty face at her and told her the bag was too large to fit into the overhead on the small plane that she would be flying to Charlotte, and told Lorraine that she would put the bag in the baggage compartment …at no cost.
Lorraine was relieved but knew she would still have to retrieve that bag in Charlotte and lug it for miles and miles from concourse E to concourse A where her flight to Puerto Rico would be. “Why did I pack so much junk,” she wondered. But then she remembered her quandary about what season she would be in in San Juan. She wanted to be prepared for anything weather-wise. At least for the present she was relieved of that heavy bag.Maybe some nice man in Charlotte would offer to carry her bag for her.
The flight to Charlotte was a bit bumpy, but not bad, but there was that big bag of hers waiting for her as she exited the plane. She hoisted the heavy bag onto her shoulder, and looking pathetic and helpless, she scanned the area for a friendly man. Finding no man gentlemanly enough to help a frail young thing like herself, she limped down the long corridor and moving sidewalk towards her next flight. Halfway there she stopped for a Jamba Juice to fuel the rest of her arduous hike.
When she dragged herself and her bags onto the San Juan flight, she needed help heaving the bag into the overhead, and the flight attendant grudgingly gave her a hand. She was beginning to give up hope of gentlemanly men. Lorraine settled with a sigh into her seat beside the window, and opened the Vogue she had packed in her purse. She loved looking at the pictures in Vogue and learning about the latest looks for spring and summer. Of course, it was just for general interest as there were more than a few obstacles between her and Vogue fashions.
First, there was the price tag associated with the clothes. Ridiculous! Fifteen hundred dollars for a blouse? Then there was where she lived. There was no need for designer clothing in Black Mountain. Then, of course, the clothing often was unflattering even to the anorexic twelve-year-old models in the magazine. Lorraine often wondered if the people who designed women’s clothing hated women. Clothes were just not designed to capitalize on a woman’s curves. Still, she liked knowing where hemlines were going and what colors were hot. She liked imagining that she was six feet tall and 100 pounds and had flawless skin and hair like the waifs in the magazine, and that she had an unlimited budget to refresh her wardrobe each season.
As she was walking the runway in her imagination, she was awakened from her revery by a man trying to get her attention. “Excuse me, miss! This is my seat. Would you mind moving your purse?”
Lorraine looked up with a scowl, and her eyes met those of a handsome, white-haired man in a white Lacoste shirt and white linen pants. She pouffed her hair with her fingers, forced a smile, and said sweetly, “I am so sorry! Of course I will move that bag right now!” She smiled and so did he. She hoped he was a talker and wouldn’t bury his nose in a magazine.
Her wish was granted. She and her seat-mate, Bobby Lopez, had lots to talk about, and she and Dr. Lopez were both headed to San Juan.