“The temperature is all right sir? Too warm, a little too cold perhaps?”
The beautiful blonde flight attendant is clearly concerned with my well-being, and who am I to argue?
Thirty thousand feet below me, the green and brown Polish countryside is laid out in perfectly checkered summer patterns as far as I can see. The day is clear and sunny and I am the only person in the first class section of LOT Polish Airlines flight 341, Warsaw to Nice.
“Maybe it’s a bit warm for you?” her bottomless blue eyes yearn to please.
“Thank you no, really it’s perfect” I respond with, I hope, just the right amount of affected insouciance.
Smiling demurely, she disappears.
I lean back in my oversized chair, close jet-lagged eyes, and mentally applaud the decision to donate a substantial number of hard-earned frequent flyer miles to the rarefied, seldom breathed air of first class. This is not how I usually travel (OK, I never travel this way), but it’s obvious to me now that first class is exactly where I belong.
The lightest touch on my shoulder. “Sir, I was just wondering….
Something catches her attention and we both turn to see a primitive from coach break from the pack and rush frantically toward the front of the plane.
Wide, fearful eyes reveal his predicament.
My sky goddess is on it, stepping directly into his path, hands on perfect hips.
“I’m sorry sir, but this restroom is reserved for the gentleman in first class” she says with a slight nod in my direction.
I quickly check the row behind me before realizing she’s talking about me, then coolly recover and return her nod with my own slight nod of approval.
Her resolute tone is a perfectly seasoned mix of authority and mock concern.
My heart swells with pride.
Unquestionably out of his league, and wisely unwilling to squander precious seconds arguing, the man from coach turns and dashes back to the rest of his herd without saying a single word.
“If they’re going to let those kinds of people fly” I proclaim with a chortle, “then I might as well just start traveling on the back of a turnip truck!”
Outside my window the beautiful lake districts of northern Italy pass slowly by. Low, puffy clouds cast small pockets of shadows on the extraordinarily verdant landscape. We’ll touch down in Nice soon and…. “Sir, may I bring you some more wine?”
I look down at my glass of Spanish red.
It is half-full.
The bottle next to it is half-empty.
“No, not just….
“You’re sure?” An absurdly delicate wisp of flaxen hair falls gracefully onto a flawless cheek.
She continues…. “It really is a long flight today. I think some more wine might be nice, don’t you?”
Blue, blue eyes….
“You’re quite right!” I respond with the confidence of a just-neutered puppy.
“I think I will have some more. Two and a half hours is a terribly long time to go without.” *Immediate note-to-self: using “quite” and “terribly” as adverbs makes me sound terribly, terribly stupid.
Fully sated with Spanish red, fatigue sets in.
I massage my weary, bloodshot eyes.
Even with ample amounts of fine wine and attentive service I’m still bone-tired from my transatlantic journey. Experienced flyers know that extended periods of inactivity can wreak havoc on one’s physical well-being. The body, you see, is a complex marvel of twisted muscle, bone, blood, and guts, and as such, requires rigorous daily movement in order to maintain a superior competitive edge.
With that in mind I stretch my legs out as far as possible to see if I can touch the bulkhead in front of me…. once.
“I’m so sorry sir, but I had to speak to the captain for a moment. Do you have everything you need?”
I was not aware she had left.
“No I’m quite…. that’s terribly…. I’m fine, thank you.”
I could get used to this….