So I'm home in SC for the second day. I got here on Friday around midnight. My flight got delayed before I even left Louisville, and I barely made it in time for my transfer flight from Charlotte to Augusta. My luggage didn't make the connection, and I had to wait an hour to figure it out and report my luggage missing. But that's all minor inconveniences. Usually on trips there are always annoyances like small, screaming children who don't shut up or kick the back of your seat or extremely fat people who take up more than one seat--spilling into yours.
The trip from Charlotte to Augusta, I was seated next to a creepy, drunk old man. At first I thought he was just really friendly, he gladly got up from his seat to let me into mine. He shook my hand and introduced himself. Then he asked where I was headed to. I told him Aiken, and he said he was too--specifically a town named something like Graville which was a mill town. Again, I thought he was just overly friendly and chatty, until I smelled his breath which stank of beer and alcohol. Then he kept repeating things, asking the same question about where I was from and proceeding to tell me where he was from. He also offered to buy me a drink right off the bat. He said, "Do you drink? Of course you drink! I'll buy you a drink!"
He proceeded to invite me to come over and visit his place sometime, which is apparently huge. He couldn't figure out how to lean the seat back, and asked me how to do so. I told him there should be a button on the side, but turns out there wasn't one. I told him he should pull down the middle arm rest because the button might be there. Really, I wanted it down to separate our seats because he was a little too close for comfort and his coat was stuffed halfway in my seat. He was perpetually trying to push and lean the seat back, asking everyone around how to do so, ignoring the fact he wasn't allowed to lean it back during take off, and finally gave up.
I tried the defensive reading tactic, but he leaned over and asked what I was reading. I told him just a novel. Finally he passed out. He was more of a nuisance up until we began our descent--that's when he got creepy. The fasten seat belt sign comes on, and the stewardess's voice comes on the intercom telling everyone to buckle up. He looks around for his seat belt, looks over at me, asks "Is your seat belt fastened?" and proceeds to reach over and try to grab and adjust it in my lap!!! I smacked his hand away, telling him I was fine. He looked around again for his seat belt, he found one half but not the other. He asked me, "Where's mine?" I was like, "I don't know [fuck off you creepy old man]" The brackets part is what I said internally. I was ready to punch the old man in the face if he tried anything again. Thankfully, he just fell back asleep for the next twenty to fifteen minutes it took us to land. I got off the plane and away from the old man as fast as I could.
For James Vance, and his family
1 week ago