The Man in 32C

He was the very last passenger to enter the plane before the flight crew closed the door. He held a large black bag over his head as he walked down the aisle.

His seat, 32C was directly in front of me in 33C. He immediately opened the overhead that was above our seats and began relocating items to other places so his bag would fit in the overhead. Some of the passengers looked in horror. Others seemed to deliberately look forward, ignoring him. ” He better leave my shit there” I said to myself. Sure enough, he started to move my grey bag. In a very dry tone, I said “Leave it where it is!” He instead relocated a tan bag and a small yellow back pack,bin closed.

The plane lands, the man on 32C immediately stands up and jerks his black bag from the overhead, nearly hitting the man in 32D.

As the passengers in our section started to stand and the remaining overheads began to open. One women said, “there it is, I was wondering where my bag was- can you believe that guy? ” “Yeah, a voice behind me” He was an asshole.

“Yes he was”- I said in my head. But, I’m not mad at the asshole, I’m mad at the people who sat in silence as he was relocating their possessions only speaking up when he couldn’t hear them.

We teach people how to teach us! Our silence gives permission.

At the carousel, an older women said, “he was afraid of you” The man with her said ” look at him-he’s a big man, I wouldn’t mess with him” Still pissed, I faked a smile and walked away, waiting for my red suitcase. I am a big man, other passengers on the flight gave me the thumbs up. Another fake smile.

There were a few angry people on our flight. I don’t know if 32C moved their bag or if it was something else.

“I need to get a grip” I’m talking to myself. I got to lose this shitty attitude before my friends get here. You have your bags. Those people are not victims, they chose their fate. We teach people how to treat us.

I walked over to a vending machine and push B11. A 3 Musketeers, an easy candy bar, no nuts, no chewy caramel drama. A light instant chocolate rush. There’s my ride, life is good.