The Tall and the Short of It

Running through the Atlanta airport – far larger than the Vermont village we live in – my 17-year-old daughter is the sharp one among us, pointing her younger sister and I through the crowds to the T concourse, up an escalator and a second one, laughing as we rush for our plane, breathlessly relaying how she ran in high heels last winter, alone, for the final flight into Burlington before a snowstorm.

In an underground train, the younger sister reads aloud, “Hold on when the train starts,” and then immediately asks, “Hold on to what?” Surrounded by people, the younger girl and I look up. We are both under five feet, and I stretch my hand up hopelessly for the overhead strap.

As the train lurches forward, we both clutch her older sister (a girl who is, as Raymond Carver wrote, a long tall drink of water), and everyone around us laughs out loud.

With a delayed flight, we currently remain in Atlanta, waiting with chipper Vermonters we don’t know but are beginning to, exchanging weather, geography, and history stories – beneath a stunning double rainbow.

Here’s a few lines from Thomas Christopher Greene‘s novel If I Forget You I’m reading:

She climbs into the yellow cab that is first in the line of yellow cabs. Henry is running now. He is at the window. She looks up at him – those eyes, unchanged, the pale blue of sea glass – and he stretches his hand toward the closed window and the cab lurches out into traffic, merging quickly, a damn sea of yellow cabs, and he tries to keep his eyes on the one that carries her, until he is no longer sure which one it is and a phalanx of them moves up Broadway and out of sight.


Atlanta airport, GA