Terminal Baggage

Two old high school friends meet in an airport lounge for the first time in years.

Pete: Oh my god Josh, is that you – holy shit, it is you. My god, Josh (Josh and Peter hug.)

Josh. It’s been so long; what, must be seven, eight years? (they step back but still holding each others elbows) Wow – you’re looking good. I see you’ve put on a bit of weight – (laughs) Hey, I’m married now –a year and a half. Holly’s everything I dreamed of and we’ve got a beautiful son Aaron who’s 4 months. Can you believe it?

Pete: You always were a player. (They stand back from each other)

Josh: Well, you know – there always were women around…how about you?

Pete: I guess I never really found the right girl.

Josh. What about…um…what’s her name. Jenny?

Pete: That’s right, what’s her name. She left when the money ran out.

Josh: Wha’de’yah mean the money ran out?

Pete:m diabetic: type 1. The bills kept running up and I had to go on long term disability. It took a while to diagnose and the job was having layoffs anyway, so I was on unemployment that ran out after six months. It was a real roller coaster for a while.

Josh: Oh no, that’s terrible.

Pete: Yeah, so things got more strained between us and Jenny left. She took the dog.

Josh: So what are you doing now?

Pete: Still looking for work, hard to find a job as a bureaucrat these days – no skills really (chuckles.)

Josh: Wow (too emphatically)

Pete: Yeah…wow. It’s ironic that I’m still getting a government cheque though (chuckles again. (Josh doesn’t laugh)

Josh: So…?

Pete: Yeah…so.

Josh: So what else… how’s your mom and stuff?

Pete: Oh Fine, fine. Everyone’s fine I guess. What about you?

Josh: Who me? Everyone’s great! Mom and Dad spend most of their time at the cottage. Dad’s got a hobby where he’s fixin’ up an old Chev – He can’t stop talking about it. Holly says it’s his second lover. Mom does the usual – walks the dog, and reads n’ bakes.

Pete: Sarah died four years ago.

Josh: What?

Pete: Cancer. Came as a surprise and took her in months. Never smoked, was a lot healthier than most of us, right to her brain. She lost a lot of weight by the end – didn’t look like her at all.

Josh: Peter, I’m so sorry. That’s terrible.

Pete: Yeah. I think it took Dad the hardest. Sometimes he just sits in his Lazyboy and stares out the window – I think he’s imagining Sarah getting off the bus and running up the driveway like she was ten. She was always his favourite, probably because she never had kids. Just like me I guess. He’d rather think she never grew up or something.

Josh: That’s sad.

Pete: Not really – if you can’t live with the present, at least you have the memories of a better past.

Josh: I guess so.

Pete: Seven years. Wow man, it’s good to see you. It’s really good to see you. What are you doing now?

Josh: Well that’s why I’m here actually – I’m a regional sales director for the Southwest, took me only three years with Michigan tire and auto. Here, here’s my card.

Pete: Michigan tire – wow. (Sings jingle) We’re more than just tires; we’re Michigan tire and Auto.

Josh: That’s right.

Pete: (Quickly) got any Jobs?

Josh: Well, not really. Most of our work is technical unless we hire college kids with no skills. No, I didn’t mean that. That’s not what I meant. Hey sorry.

Pete: It’s O.K; I can’t see myself in red polyester anyway. (Both laugh – nervously.)

Josh: Listen, that’s my boarding call. Well, the first one anyway. I have to pick something up for Aaron and Holly before I get on. Give me your number. We should get together some time and really catch up.

Pete: Yeah, sure. Here you go (searches for pen.)

Josh: Here’s one of ours…

Pete: We’re more than just tires…

Josh: Yeah, that’s right. Keep it.

Pete: Here

Josh: Thanks.

Pete: Well, I guess this is goodbye.

Josh: For now.

Pete: See you later then?

Josh: Sure. (Josh picks up his overnight and starts to walk away, and turns back) Hey Peter?

Pete: Yeah?

Josh: Aeron was born 12 weeks prematurely.

Pete: I’m sorry is he ok?

Josh: He is now. It was touch and go. I stayed with Holly for two weeks in the hospital sleeping there nearly every night. She lost a lot of blood at first. They almost fired me at work because I missed so much time – came really close.

Pete: Josh, That’s terrible.

Josh: Yeah. Never felt so scared and alone in my life.

Pete: Funny that.

Josh: Yeah tell me about it. It’s all O.K. now. Hey, listen. What are you doing later this month?

Pete: Let me check my calendar (looks up at the ceiling) – nothing, why?

Josh: I’d like to have you over and meet Holly and the little guy; time to pick up where we left off?

Pete: You know we don’t have to

Josh: Yes we do.

Pete: I’d like that.

Josh: Let’s make it a date. Give me a call and we’ll set it up.

Pete: Yeah, I sure will.

Josh: Good to see you again.

Pete: Thanks Josh. Bye now.

Josh. Goodbye Pete.


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