As soon as my plane taxied away from the gate a few mornings ago, I started to hear a sucking, smacking noise every 15-20 seconds. I assumed something was wrong with the plane. I had just spent several minutes trying to get the fan above my seat to stop spewing bits of water crystals onto my head - who knew what other halfhearted health and safety inspections this Express Jet had recently sailed its way through? I turned around expecting to see the bathroom door about to fall off its hinges, only to discover that the racket was created by the passenger sitting behind me who was kissing her infant lap child’s head.
She’s the first to have taught me that nonsexual kissing can be this loud and last for so long - in public and in close quarters. Would the baby – who slept through most of the flight - have felt less unconditionally loved if the kisses coming at him several times a minute were a decibel level lower? Most of the other passengers around us were fast asleep too. I was completely on my own and still uncaffeinated.
The third time I turned around, the eye contact we made was so meaningful that I thought an understanding had been wordlessly brokered. But the moment I turned back to face forward, the kisses became louder and more frequent.
All the noise she was making eventually woke the baby up. The sound of his scream-crying was far preferable to the sound of the scream-kissing, and I finally had some peace.
Shame, shame. I know your name.
1 hour ago