hoi polloi.

[hoi puhloi]

plural noun

  1. the common people; the masses (often preceded by the).

Sometimes it’s nice to embrace being one of the hoi polloi. It’s easier at times to just blend in, to put your earphones in and keep quiet while in an airport or on a plane.

Flying is full of ups and downs. For me, not just geographically but emotionally, too, especially if I’m leaving my nephew and his cheeks. I love Idaho and its open space and its mountains and its people. I hate how far it is from my sweet family. The plane engine starts to hum and I start to over evaluate my current story.

The flight attendant’s voice in shockingly loud on the intercom. My face involuntarily cringes. She pauses at inappropriate times, like she’s reading a script she’s never seen before.
“Closest usable exit might be located <<pause>> behind you…We’ll be dimming the cabin lights for take <<pause>> off.”

I take a sip of the free lukewarm coffee. Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” shuffles on my “Sunset” playlist. The sun is exceedingly bright and the glare is almost too much to take, but I can’t look away. My heart is soaring just like the warm plane. I open my air vent.

The man next to me leaves his biscuit cookie on the seat between us. I think he’s giving it to me because I inhaled mine as if I hadn’t overeaten for two weeks in Florida.

I nap on and off, on and off for hours and hours. I’m one of the hoi polloi. I’ve avoided all eye contact because I’m not in a small talk kind of mood. I nap for another hour. I open a book. At the first signs of life from his row mate, the man next to me looks my way and I can see his lips moving. Hoi polloi destruction. I remove one earphone. He speaks in the most charming Irish accent. He is talking about the biscuit cookie. We both know I want it. He says, “I ate before I boarded the plane. American portions, wow!”

We chat easily, both taking breaks to check the status of the sun. He’s a captivating fella. After hearing each other’s cliffnote stories, he looks me in the eyes and says, “You should walk the Camino.”
I say, “Okay,” and mean it. My cousins, Jill and CJ, spoke of this plan years ago.
We exchange email addresses and I believe we’ll see each other again. I hope the trail is sprinkled with biscuit cookies. I’m not just one of the masses today. I’m Gerard’s friend. I’m a girl that will one day walk El Camino de Santiago.

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2 thoughts on “hoi polloi.”

  1. Mom and I have been talking about doing the El Camino someday too… Maybe even someday kind of soonish. Debbie, the florist from my wedding has done it for several years. Maybe we could coordinate this…

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