We are told it is a liability to be thin-skinned, and it’s true that these are bad times for it. When an Internet slight makes you question your path in life, an encounter with a surly stranger results in canceled plans, and the day’s news derails your day, you are at the whims of fortune. And a life without perspective, like a painting, is disorienting.
But the porousness goes both ways, doesn’t it? And if everything looms large, the world’s kindnesses are equally outsized, like in that store Think Big, which only carried enormous versions of things. Maybe you didn’t want a giant jar of mustard. But the fact that it existed meant that you could also have a six-foot Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2, so.
Today I had a truly wonderful airport experience. The trip to the terminal was quick and pleasant. My neighbors and I were routed into the expedited security line and so were able to retain our shoes and sweaters. The Transportation Security Administration officers were jolly and kind, too. And at one moment a woman in a pair of very low-riding jeans bent over, exposing a vast plumber’s crack. Out of her earshot, the TSA man said to me, “Full moon tonight!” as he checked over my ID.
Then came all the usual pleasures of an airport: I bought a newspaper and a pack of an intriguing new gum—and the selection was excellent! I slathered myself in samples of Crème de la Mer. The coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts was strong and hot, and the cruller unusually fresh.
But most wonderful of all: when we boarded the plane, it was to find that it was not full to capacity. And as the doors closed, I saw that I was to have a row of three seats to myself. I am not lying when I say that tears of gratitude came to my eyes. It was a pure happiness. I lay down with my head on my tote bag and my coat over my legs and everything was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow. And I said to myself, over and over, It’s worth it, it’s worth it.