Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dallas/Fort Worth international Airport (DFW)

September 2004, Who Were Those Masked Ministers?

I squeeze myself in at the end of the bar at the TGIFriday's in terminal C.  I'm standing on my toes, leaning and stretching to shout my drink order to the bartender. Beside me is an older man and a younger man.  The younger man looks too young to drink, but he's holding a beer. Our luggage is piled together in such a stack that I briefly ponder crafting my own bar stool out of it.  I decide it might be dangerous.  I hover over the pile instead.  

The men are talking about "the service." I'm only half listening because I'm distracted by their demeanor with each other. I wonder if they are father and son.  Doesn't seem like it. They have too much familiar ease (Was that an ironic statement?). Maybe they are uncle and nephew. Maybe lovers. I settle on lovers. Older man keeps leaning in to make another point. Younger man nods, looks over, makes a brief response and reverts to gazing at the TV behind the bar.  They are very comfortable together.  Enough to hold a friendly conversation while barely paying attention to each other.

"We're getting ready to leave." Older man says to me, "Do you want this seat?"

"Sure." I say.

"We're headed back to Vermont." Older man continues.

I nod.

"We were here for my mother's funeral." Older man says.

"I'm sorry," I respond.

"Been coming for a long time," he says and finishes his beer. "We're ministers," he tells me.

I nod again, this time adding a "Hmm." to note my mild interest. I note that I was right to suspect they were not related.

"He came down to do the service." Older man indicates Younger man.

I'm dying to ask why, but they are suddenly occupied with slinging luggage on to their shoulders and bustling out.  I watch them go, still filled with questions, and order a quesadilla.