The guy who talks loudly on his cell phone about very important business matters so everyone around him knows he is a very important business man. He is always wearing a suit that remains remarkably unwrinkled. Sometimes he sports a headset or ear piece.
The guy who opens his laptop the moment he sits on the plane because he has very important work to do and he is going to maximize his efficiency or something like that.
The guy who makes a big show of taking out and putting on his very very very expensive headphones that dwarf his head but the sound man, it’s pristine.
The guy who is a father and is macho and is carrying a car seat, stroller, diaper bag, two carry-on suitcases and a briefcase and refuses help from anyone because he is a man and he’s got this even though he is huffing and puffing and on the verge of passing out.
The guy who is a father and cannot be bothered to help his wife with the children for the duration of a cross country flight. He stares at his iPad with singular focus and dedication while his wife wrangles two crying children and gives the man she allowed into her life the stare of death.
The guy who is in Zone 3 but stands at the front of the boarding line regardless, frothing with eagerness to board the plane even though it will not be his turn to board for another twenty minutes.
The guys in first class who know, smugly, that they will get to board first and hover around the boarding lanes with their hands in their pockets as they talk about important business man things and sneer politely at anyone who approaches their territory and doesn’t appear to belong.
The guy who sits next to you and explains air travel for the duration of a flight.
The guy who tries to flirt with the flight attendants and is clearly striking out but doesn’t realize it even though everyone else around him does.
The guy who drinks so much the booze begins seeping out of his pores and you’re sitting next to him and you have to smell his booze sweat stink for several hours because there is no God on airplanes.
The guy who sprawls because he has very large testicles between his legs and beneath his armpits forcing him to use both armrests.
The guy who reclines as far as he can the moment the plane hits 10,000 feet, thereby jamming your knees into your spleen for the duration. He often has a bald spot, which is an observation not a judgment.
The guy who is training to become a professional interrogator, getting all up in your personal business, and so you teach what, where and why and how did you get into that and are you married and why not and tick tock.
The guy who has no interest in you or your life but spends the entire flight narrating the detritus of his own existence.
The guy who hovers near the mouth of the luggage carousel as if he is going to dive through the rubber curtain to start grabbing luggage even though the carousel isn’t even moving because the luggage has not yet been offloaded from the plane.
The guys who eagerly jump to their feet when a gorgeous woman gives her carry on a fleeting glance as she pauses in the aisle, preparing to place it in the overhead bin. Oh how their muscles flex as they preen and jockey for a piece of that small suitcase so they might be able to say they helped, so they might bask in the glow of her grateful smile, so they might swan with her into the sunset of a happily ever after.
Roxane Gay is the editor of The Butter.