I'm a big whiner about each precious summer day that I am yanked out of Seattle. It's a Sunday, spectacular, the middle of the afternoon and I'm at the airport headed to Twin Falls. Except there's no direct flight so I'm headed to Salt Lake City. The layover is too long. I'm still hungry from my late lunch that is an early dinner. Find some bad mushy frozen yogurt and look for a seat in the holding pit they herd us into for our "regional" (i.e. tiny plane) flights. I find an empty spot next to an innocuous (hopefully quiet) couple and pick up the old Danielle Steel novel I'm reading because that's the way I roll sometimes.
Another couple hollers greetings to the one next to me. Apparently both the husbands are doctors - or else they just like calling each other doctor so and so. They are yacking and I'm not trying to pay attention to them, but the book isn't good and so I'm listening as I'm reading. One of them isn't able to get their flight exactly and they will need to drive several hours to get home. They are both going to Montana. They start talking about their other travels and apparently they have homes in other states too. A bit braggy. They start talking about the heat and there's a lot of talk about which place they live or have recently visited is the most unbearable. Doctor 2's wife gets on the topic of Houston and then pow. Doctor 1 says: "White people aren't meant to live in heat like that." It isn't said with particular emphasis or with levity and the conversation flows into and around it as naturally as air.
My mind snaps. Did he just say that yes he did am I being overly sensitive no I don't think so no that was absolutely gross they are saying white people can't live in heat but what "other" people can or should or what. I feel like I am in an invisible shell, walled off from them, not in communion with them, completely alienated.