From Seat to Seat

December 11, 2008
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Airports. I abhor airports and I loathe planes even more.
While waiting in an uncomfortable chair at the airport to catch the plane back to New Orleans, Michael, my most recent boyfriend, and I realize that our flight is overbooked. Unfortunately we are separated and I am seated at the front of the plane, directly behind the Captain.
As I sit down, away from Michael, my strength, I then realize just how vulnerable I may be. I’m sitting directly behind the Captain of the Southwest airplane. Memories of Will come flooding back into every crevice of my mind. The pilot garb, the perfect brown eyes and hair, the dare devil, the big brother, every feature of the pilot was a mirror image of Will. Salty tears burn my chapped lips. I keep telling myself, “Don’t make a scene. Calm down”.
Yellow. I remember the last time I touched him. That yellow stuff on his pilot’s jacket. My captain has it on his shoulder. Oh Lord, what are you trying to tell me?
I reach into my purse and then my wallet, finding my favorite picture of Will and the prayer card used at his funeral. What is God trying to tell me? I hold my papers close to my heart as tears stream faster down my cheeks.
I need a drink. Get me a drink. God damn it where is the stewardess?
Squeezing through the tight middle lane of the plane, I find the stewardess seated at the rear of the plane. “Can I please have a screwdriver?” I ask the redheaded stewardess. She tells me to return to my seat due to the turbulence on the flight.
To my surprise, the redhead follows me back to my seat and gladly hands me my desired adult beverage. “Maybe this will take the edge off” I say to myself.
I yearn to touch the pilot of our plane; he looks about 25. Just the age Will was at his death. Why was I cursed with this seat? Why couldn’t Michael sit here? Why do I keep crying? And why the hell does this screwdriver seem so weak?
I abhor airports and I loathe planes even more.

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