I haven’t even brought a book. I rarely do for the flight to Montreal, so short there’s hardly time to finish a page without a pert stewardess interrupting with a buckle-unbuckle update or to stuff you with another canapé. While I wait at the gate, I do what I always do at JFK: watch the flow of close-shaven businessmen, triangulated teenagers in A-line dresses or the new bell-bottomed jeans, well-heeled wives with this season’s travel bags, exasperated fathers, preternaturally patient mothers with faded eyeliner, cranky children in tow.
Today the tide of travelers, like the rain clouds, has swollen and stalled. The gate is crowded and stuffy. Twin boys chomping Now and Later candy share the seat next to mine. Pan Am Flight 108 is delayed, ladies and gentlemen. And delayed. And we’re sorry to inform you that this flight has again been delayed. Due to weather–as though we ever don’t have weather. You might as well say due to clouds.