Traveling alone on a day like today is often the occasion for being a character in search of a plot, as the activity of traveling by oneself is not often particularly exciting, but there can often be a larger and more interesting context going on among others that one happens to be around. One of the more notable contemporary plays that I became familiar with as a young adult was that of six characters who were in search of a plot, but that is at least a few characters too many to fit in my own particular story today. Likewise, as a critic of art, literature, movies, and music, I tend to find it fascinating how the criticism of other people about my own life, and about the larger social and political questions of our world, are often at such variance with each other that one cannot know easily if they are all part of the same narrative or not, as the stories are mutually contradictory, based on doubtful reconstructions of events and seriously inaccurate interpretations of words and deeds, and often bear little or no relationship to the truth, which is often outside of any of our grasp.
The framework of the plot of today was not particularly remarkable. I woke up after not enough sleep because I had stayed up to watch Monday Night Football to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks to a narrow victory that hinged on a non-call of a penalty on an obscure rule involving an intentional but inconsequential batting of a ball fumbled by Calvin Johnston into the end zone, as well as a good deal of writing. I showered, checked out of the hotel I was staying in Aurora, added a couple of gallons of gasoline so that Enterprise would not charge me a hefty fee to fill up the difference, and then drove into downtown Denver through slow traffic marked by unexplained lane closures and rubbernecking, until I arrived at the car rental place for an anticlimactic drop-off, after which the attractive young lady who had just checked my rental car back in drove me to the nearby bus station  talking about her cultural experiences in Greece and Turkey, much of which involved bad time estimates and dangerous drivers, allowing me to avoid being accosted by the many bums who were sleeping on or shuffling along the sidewalks of the neighborhood, especially congregated around the bus station as well as the Good Samaritan shelter, which was drastically overcrowded from what I could see.
I managed to chat with a few people in the Denver airport, seeing a high school group joke around while they flew off somewhere or back somewhere on some kind of journey, chatted with a couple of elderly travelers from Europe who were traveling from Denver to Kansas City, one of whom had a bit of trouble respecting my personal space, and listening to a young amputee seek to avoid making any concessions to his health by refusing to sit down at the power station where I wrote one of my book reviews for the day. By the time I finished checking my e-mail and writing I ambled off to the gate where my flight to Portland was loading, and I found myself among the last few people in line to get on a completely full flight, despite having checked in last night as soon as I was able to connect to the wi-fi in Aurora. Fortunately, the company around was largely friendly, including an elderly African-Americna gentleman whose hat marked him as a Vietnam veteran, who was promised a free alcoholic drink by the flight attendant once we arrived to take the last few seats of the plane. As it was, I managed to snag the last window seat in the second-to-last row and proceeded to read and eat a little bit, while wondering why the free wi-fi on the plane was not working well with my phone.
Arriving in Portland, I knew I would have to wait a bit for my ride home, so I found a comfortable place to sit near a power plug to allow for more writing and for reading without drawing attention to myself as one of the suspicious people whose activities needed to be alerted to the airport police, and while reading and writing, an elderly Indian man fell down while attempting to walk over to the pay phones besides me from his wheelchair. After an airport employee and I managed to help him up together, he seemed insistent on not wanting to be put back into the wheelchair and used the payphone to give his ride a particularly stern talking-to in a language I did not understand, and eventually the gentleman’s equally elderly wife and another somewhat younger man, possibly a son, came and off he went, as did the other intriguing people of these particular baggage claims, including some energetic and loud children, some business people, and a wide assortment of flight crew and other travelers. Few of them seemed to pay me any mind as I read and watched, likely engrossed in their own stories, in which I played no part.