A GIRL WHO DOES EVERYTHING
Back-story: This takes place approximately eighteen years after the time-period of the show (so the kids are now about twenty-seven). I have borrowed the outline of "The Patakis" to fill in some of the back-story with Phoebe and the other central female characters, as well as her relationship with Gerald. About ten years before this story, Phoebe moved back to Kentucky and she and Gerald haven't seen each other since.
There's a fair amount of drama tied into that event that will be touched on later.
I made Phoebe a real 'doing-anything-and-everything person', but her official employer is the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
On with the story.
…oh and: Craig Bartlett… 'intellectual' property… fill in the spaces however you please.
Please remain seated until the captain has turned off the 'fasten seatbelt' sign. If you are continuing on to further destinations from JFK please have your boarding passes out and ready once you enter the terminal. From all members of the crew, we'd like to thank you for flying with us. Welcome to New York and have a nice day.
Phoebe Heyerdahl removed her glasses for a moment and wiped them with her handkerchief while she waited. Some of the other passengers had already begun standing up and shifting about their seats as they extricated their briefcases and duffel bags from under the seats in front of them or the overhead compartments. Phoebe was feeling tense too, but she had studied crowd behavior in airplanes and knew the best course of action was to do what the flight attendant said and wait until the plane had taxied before trying to muscle through the fray and get off the plane.
On Crowds and Chaos: Group behavior of passengers… she'd coauthored the paper with the great Dr. Steven Strogatz himself.
As Staten Island natives jostled between Italian business executives and Central European gap-year kids for luggage, and the infant passengers began to exercise their lungs at the sudden jostle of the cabin brought on by the landing, Phoebe remained seated in her small window seat, safely separated from the tumult that was erupting in the cabin. Phoebe was small enough that the potential of additional leg room – or rather illusion of additional leg room – did not compel her to take an aisle seat when offered back on the flight out of FCO, thus she could remain in her little corner near the shaded window while the portly, and elderly, Roman businessman (and self-proclaimed mogul) next to her pushed and prodded from his aisle seat without gaining any room to escape the confines of his seat and enter the press of humanity in the aisle he had so liberally used for stretching his legs.
After another four minutes, the seat belt sign turned off, and following the lessons of her observations throughout the dozens of flights she'd made over the years, Phoebe remained in her seat an additional three minutes and twenty seconds to allow the first rows to begin de-boarding, while the maelstrom of activity around her began to organize itself into a semblance of a patient queue of debarking passengers. As the two elderly passengers three rows ahead managed to extract their luggage, Phoebe stood up and arched her back to relieve the stress of the eight hour journey and pulled her side bag up from underneath the seat in front of her. She took a few calming breaths, to re-familiarize her legs with standing and her heart with pumping a little harder to get enough blood to all extremities. By the time Phoebe had increased her circulation to its desired levels, the passengers immediately in front of her had begun moving, and her traveling companion had at last begun to squeeze out of his confinement. Like clockwork, Phoebe fell into line behind the elderly Italian and slowly made her way off the plane, giving a nod of thanks to the flight attendants that stood at the door saying their 'thanks'.
The rest of the arrival procedure was quite standard. Phoebe came to the carousel at a leisurely pace, giving time for the rolling contraption to begin turning and bags to make their way on. After taking her duffel she made her way to Customs, her declaration forms and passport already in hand, and chose a line with three superannuated travelers. She found it a more pleasing experience to be in these slower lines where the customs official was setting their mind into a mode of patience in dealing with slower people while still holding the reserve and desire to be as expedient as possible whenever possible. By the time Phoebe made it to the official, she was neither rudely hustled, nor were her documents handled sluggishly.
Everything Phoebe did, she did with purpose and calculation. It was the reason she could do all the things she could do.
Today, however, Phoebe had set aside enough time between her commitments to do something she had not done in almost ten years.
She would pay a visit to Queens.
Note the button just below these last few sentences. Clicking it and writing something will not result in any unpleasantness, so please feel free to try it out.