by Nadlee Thims
As I shuffle through the airport, I hear my heels, clopping on the faux marble flooring. There is a rhythm to my steps. There is gritty, thundering hum as I drag my wheeled bag behind me. I become so involved with the sound of this odd musical noise I’m creating that I fail to realize – there’s a whole world happening around me. I am quickly reminded of this fact when a handsome man with tattoos on his arms steps into my course of travel, abruptly interrupting my rhythm as we bounce off of each other.
He’s embarrassed and grips my arms to steady me. He nods and smiles, politely offering, “Excuse me. Are you okay? I’m sorry about that.”
“You’re fine,” I answer.
I knew exactly what I meant. He was fine! We step around each other and continue on our journey through life, which leads us in opposing directions. As I strive to restore my previous rhythm, I look over my shoulder to peek at the man once more. To my surprise, he’s looking at me, to the point that he’s walking backwards. I smile, toss my hair over my shoulder and away I go! Another town is awaiting my arrival.
Smiling and reliving the encounter, I attempt to board the plane. The pilot is pleasantly smiling, greeting his passengers. A woman that insists her two hundred pound bag is going to fit in a spot that would be a tight fit for a ten-pound bag halts my effort to get to my seat. So, I wait.
The pilot strikes up some empty conversation with me. He’s attractive in some way that I can’t identify. So, I chat with him, trying to figure out what it is about him. Then I see it. It’s truth. That’s what it is! In his eyes, his intentions are true. He’s not trying to do anything more than to keep me from being annoyed by the stuffy, humidity pouring through the hatch door, as I wait for “Miss Luggage Lady” to figure out the physical improbability of what she thinks she’s going to do. I appreciate his efforts, but this woman is grating on all of our nerves.
Then, the pilot does the cutest thing. He hopelessly drops his chin to his chest, glaring from under the brim of his hat at the woman that is stalling us all. He scratches his forehead with his thumbnail and chuckles as he shakes his head and drops his hand to his side in frustration. But, by now, the pilot and I – we’re friends. We’ve got a common problem. So, he cuts his eyes over at me and smirks as he mutters, “I’m about to bounce her ass right off this plane.” Truth!
Funny mental image aside, this beautiful human being is filled with truth. I’m in love! Not in a trip down the aisle, kind of way, but, in a “real,” “relatable” way.
Finally, I get to “level up” and advance to my seat. I’m dragging my bag down the aisle. I prepare to lift my luggage to put in the overhead compartment. From across the aisle, a bulky man with a cowboy hat and a blue and white plaid shirt tucked into his blue jeans, reaches down, grips the handle and lifts the bag over my head, raising it to the luggage bin.
“Lemme help you with that,” he insists in a southern accent as he flashes me a kind, dimply smile.
My luggage isn’t all that heavy. I’m only on a weekend trip, this time. Realizing it was a light load, he laughs at himself. He smiles shyly as he looks down at me.
“I bet you coulda handled that one, huh?”
I try not to laugh, shaking my head. “Wow! I’d probably still be fighting that thing to lift it up there.”
“Yeah! Uh-huh,” his return is sarcastic, as he smiles a flirty smile.
Anyway, now, I have made a buddy for the flight. We sit across the aisle from each other. He tells me that he’s on his way to save his little sister from a domestic complication. He cracks a few jokes about the guy she ran away from home with. Then, he asks me why I’m traveling. I explain that I’m an author and I have promotional responsibilities. Naturally, he asks what I write.
“I’m ‘Naughty Nadlee,’ if that tells you anything.”
He thinks it over for a second. Then, a flirty smile crosses his face. Excitedly, he turns in his seat to look at me.
“Hey! I used to try to tell people that I only read those magazines for the articles. For some reason, no one believes me. Y’all write some good stuff in those articles.”
“No, no! Sorry! I don’t write those articles. I write books.”
“Oh! Ok! You write them dirty books? Well, I’m about sick of articles, anyway. Maybe I could just read your stuff, instead,” he laughed. “Hey! How do I get my hands on your books anyway?”
Long story short, he’s waiting in line, with the rest of you, for the release of Mr. Montgomery. He was excited and his energy and enthusiasm was inspirational. All of these events were inspirational.
By the time the plane lands, I have fallen in love three different times in about two hours. Not in a wedding bell kind of way, mind you, but in that “real,” “relatable” way.
So, when I get to the hotel and I sit with my computer, there are so many options for what I could do with these experiences. I could forget them and go on with my life. I could immortalize these people and turn them into characters in one of my books. Or, I could capture them here, to share these experiences with you. Why? I’ll explain in just a moment.
Some people paint beautiful pictures. But, some people take photographs when something moves them. Some people construct some beautiful, elaborate scrapbooks. Some people build things, or sew something, or…or…or… And, we’re all thankful for how people relay what they see as beautiful because the rest of us get to reap the benefits of the way they relay that beauty.
Me? I save those feelings and experiences until I can drop them on my computer screen in a form that I can share with you. What do I want out of this experience? I want to entertain you. I want to write the words you can’t stop reading. I want to create responses within you (…yeah!). This is my passion! Writing is my passion. Entertaining all of you is my passion. I put it out there so you can reap the benefits. This is how I relay the way I see the beauty of the world.
Finding my outlet for how I do this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I can’t wait until I find myself, kicking around on those best sellers lists. That will mean more than money, or fame. That will mean that I did my job and I did it well! That will mean that I succeeded in my attempt to relay to you, the way I see beauty!
I appreciate that you took the time to read this. When you started this, you heard me walking through the airport, dragging my luggage, I’m sure. You ran into that man with me. That pilot, you and me – we’re all buddies, now, aren’t we? And, that cowboy from across the aisle – wasn’t he cute? And, me? You’ve learned that I fall in love – with all of you – a lot.
If I’m right, then I’ve accomplished my first goal. If I can intentionally make you feel something, I am accomplishing my purpose. If you felt those things, I’ve shown you what I’m capable of, and that was just short paragraphs. With that in mind, please remember that I’ve written an erotica novel. An entire novel! That’s a whole lot of paragraphs. Just wait until you see what I make you feel with that one! Mr. Montgomery is…coming!
Nadlee’s first novel, Mr. Montgomery, is slated for release in early February 2016 through Semper Press.