The Conversation

I'm an A**Hole

I consider myself relatively brave. For example, if Pinkberry introduces a new flavor, I’ll sample it. I won’t think about it.  I’ll go right in with very little regard for my personal safety.  Despite that level of courage, I do have fears…weaknesses.

And that reality came crashing down on me yesterday afternoon at Reagan National Airport in D.C. when I realized that there was a tragic error made with regard to my seat assignment.  I go to great lengths to procure an aisle seat. I have a mild case of claustrophobia and I’m not a fan of flying to begin with.  On my boarding pass there is generally a C or a D to signify an aisle.  This time I was staring down at 15 F.  A window seat.  A 5 hour plus flight. 15 F.  

I literally began to perspire, which frankly I thought would serve me well as a visual aid to show the gravity of my personal strife when I threw myself on the mercy of the passive aggressive gate agent who seemingly enjoyed the fact that I was panicking…begging for him to find me an aisle seat.

He said: “I can’t make any promises, Sir.” 

Long story short: I got an aisle seat….next to the tallest guy on the plane who happened to be a Brazilian basketball player with a wingspan that invaded by personal space for 5 straight hours.

This morning, I woke up looking forward to that first cup of coffee prior to going to the gym: a simple yet very gratifying ritual.  I had run out of coffee and I was irritated by it, but I’m a survivor so I went to the gym uncaffeinated.  And as I wrestled with the new top on Crystal Geyser’s new sporty bottle of water, I thought to myself Level 8 on the hill climbing program of the elliptical is far more difficult than I imagined.

But I settled into it. The endorphins kicked in and I entered that zone where you don’t feel yourself struggling. Your body just goes and your mind is freed up.

…and in that calm, I thought of my friend Seth who left his amazing wife and daughter this morning. A Navy SEAL deployed at 6 AM to God knows where to go face to face with real evil and real danger. This is true courage...and quiet bravery.  And I’m just not talking about him…I’m talking about his wife and daughter as well. I said goodbye to Seth last night but the reality greeted me this morning. 

I reflected on my reaction to the grave potential of a 5 hour domestic flight back home glancing out the window…..and the tragedy of running out of Starbucks French roast…not to mention the difficulty of level 8 on the elliptical…

...and I thought to myself “I’m an a**hole.” 


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