For Martin Highbinder, the meeting in Fort Lauderdale was a dream trip, a perfect escape from his everyday routine in Milwaukee. After a day of R&R in Miami that he tacked onto the end of the meeting, Martin arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport, where he waited at the gate for a flight to Nashville, talking quietly and continuously with a man named Craig.
His conversation was interrupted by a loud, “Hey, Martin!” bellowed by his co-worker Barry Fink.
“Hey, Martin, this flight’s going to Nashville; the Milwaukee flight is over there.”
“Couldn’t get on it, Barry. I’ll see you in the office day after tomorrow.”
“Oh, too bad, man. I got lotsa drink coupons and some prime gossip.”
“Yeah, too bad. See you later in the week, Barry.” Martin was relieved at the sight of Barry galumphing his way back to the other gate.
Moments later, Martin cringed when he saw Barry coming back. Once again interrupting him and Craig, Barry explained that he found out that there was one seat left on the Milwaukee flight; Martin could get home that night.
Martin, glancing sheepishly at Craig, reluctantly joined Barry on what seemed like a long march just across the concourse. As he waited at the other gate seated next to Barry, Martin heard the ding of a text.
The banner on Martin’s phone read, “Craig.” The text read, “I’ll be lonely in Nashville tonight. I wish you’d learn from what Mae West said. ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’”