Yesterday I easily picked up the plane ticket I had purchased over the phone. I made it through security effortlessly and found a seat by a window thinking I’d watch planes, but ended up people watching instead. The flight to DC was quick and relatively smooth. Once there my brother rescued me from the confines of the airport and took me to World Market where I picked up stocking stuffers for 5 people (4 children & 1 spouse). He returned me to the airport and I anxiously stared out the window, watching for Tommy. In no time at all, Tommy bounced down the corridor from the plane with a grin from ear to ear. He looked self-confident and fully capable of traveling alone except for the fact that he was talking to himself. “It sure is cold out here.” “I need a new coat.” “These gloves are saving my fingers from falling off.” He got to me and I tried to focus his chatter but he just kept talking a mile a minute. Whenever he paused for breath I would get a few words in but mostly I just listened to Tommy talk. We had a snack. Tommy talked. We walked through the Smithsonian shop. Tommy talked. They called for everyone to board the plane. Tommy talked. I don’t want to give the misconception that Tommy quit talking at this point but I must elaborate on Tommy’s other behaviors at this point. Tommy and his backpack smacked every other person already seated on the plane as we walked down the narrow space. Some semi-intoxicated college guy had claimed Tommy’s window seat and Tommy became nearly hysterical. I went back to the front and told the stewardess and she told me to put Tommy in some other empty seat. I didn’t fly all that way not to sit by Tommy but luckily the next to last row was empty so we made our way back again. “I’m sorry sir.” “Tommy, try not to hit people with your backpack.” Getting to the window seat meant that Tommy had to grab the two seats in front of ours and push the seat and occupant forward abruptly. Tommy settled into the seat which was too narrow for his needs and developed a pattern of elbowing me in the chest every few minutes. I quickly found a way to lean all the way toward the aisle with my body while guarding my chest with my left arm. Did I fail to mention that Tommy kept talking all this time? “I wonder if they have the same snacks on this flight?” “That lady has a dog on the plane.” Once seated Tommy tried every light and air vent combination. He pointed out all the cool things in the airplane catalog and described the takeoff as though I wasn’t there. “We’re going up now.” “We hit an air pocket.” When it became apparent that we were near our destination he started bouncing so he could feel himself falling in his seat as he felt the plane dropping down. We arrived and entered the world’s quietest, emptiest airport. It was only then that I became annoyed as we had to wait almost an hour and a half for Tommy’s suitcase to make it to the luggage carousel. We made it home and I crawled in the bed to stare at the tv like a zombie. Tommy read in bed and slept until lunchtime today. I have no desire to repeat our adventure anytime soon.