I first noticed her at the gate. I think it was the three bags and pillow she was carrying. That's twice as many as the allotted number of carry-ons. With her unkempt, wet hair and the luggage she was juggling she personified the word "disheveled."
I was already seated when she boarded the plane. I began to have an internal panic moment as she made her way down the aisle towards me.
Please don't be my seat partner. Please don't be my seat partner.
Lucky for me, she stopped one seat short. This meant I could hear her loud music and conversation without having any of her bags fall in my lap.
I got lost in my book and was only snapped back to reality when I heard the word "publisher." For the next few minutes I eavesdropped. She was in the process of publishing a book. No, she wasn't the child photographed on the cover. That would have cost more. She trusts her publisher and isn't so worried about what to write any more.
At that moment, I wished I could have traded seats with her seat partner. I wanted to ask Disheveled about her publishing experiences. How she find a publisher, did she have an agent, what was her book about, where would it be sold, was she exploring online publishing? I had a million questions and not the opportunity to ask them. Quite possibly because I'd been praying for her to be seated somewhere else.
Shame on me. I judged before I knew.