This week I had the fabulous experience of flying from Tampa to NYC, and I have one thing to say... W T F? If anyone looked more hungover and disheveled than myself (I ended up boarding while holding my belt and still trying to cram my laptop into my carry on), it was the flight attendants. They stood in the doorway as we came aboard with a look on their face that said, "Ugh. What are YOU doing here?"
Remember back in the day when flight attendants were stewardesses and super pretty? Those days they couldn't do enough for you, chatting you up as they offered magazines, pillows, blankets and anything else your heart desired. I believe it now costs something like five bucks to rent a magazine for the duration of the trip unless you just want to read the stupid magazine their airline puts out that is in the seat back pocket. Typically the back pages will be stuck together with some type of substance that could be soda, snot or semen and the crossword puzzle is already done. The Soduku puzzle is usually just half done, due to another human being realizing that this hideous game is just a huge mind fuck, unless you happen to be the person that discovered the theory of relativity, in which case I'm sure it's a breeze.
I located my seat which was on the aisle. I prefer a window seat so that I can smash my head up against it and stare out, hopefully keeping my seat mate from speaking to me. I didn't used to be this way. I used to be open to meeting new people and learning about how other people live in different parts of the world. This however, has never happened. The final straw was during a flight from Atlanta to Tampa. What typically is a 90 minute flight felt like an trans-Atlantic crossing on the Titanic, as my seat mate regaled me with details of her recovery from vulva cancer. Hence my new outlook on seat mates.
I began feeling hopeful as the seat next to me was still empty with only a few stragglers left to board. Maybe this would be my lucky day, and I would be able to travel in peace as I had already given the young girl in the window seat a look that said, "Don't even think about it." Then I saw him and immediately I knew, he was to be mine. The pink crocs, polyester Hawaiian shirt with stomach protruding and greasy blonde comb over gave it away.
Sure enough, he wedges himself into the seat next to me, slips off his shoes and removes a bag of Fritos from his backpack. I pulled out my iPad and started playing Candy Crush which is my way of saying, DON'T EVEN.
After take off, during which time the flight attendants did their presentations, ending with, "Please take a look at the food items we have for sale listed on the back of your Delta Magazine, but we're pretty much out of everything, so....whatever," my seat mates began talking.
I heard a lot of "Blah Blah Blah," and then I heard the words Los Angeles and actor. Hold on. It seems my neighbor lives in L A and is an actor! He must be traveling to New York for work. Well, suddenly I see him in a whole new light. Perhaps the Universe put him next to me so that I could tell him about my book and he could introduce me to influential people who will make it into a movie and I will get to walk a red carpet at the Oscars and meet Meryl Streep. Finally.
Never one to ignore a golden opportunity I turn to him and say, "Oh, did I hear you are from Los Angeles?"
"Yes, where are you from?"
Okay, enough about me let's cut to the chase.
"So, what do you do in L A?"
"I'm an actor."
"Oh Gosh, how exciting! What have you been in lately?"
"Well, actually, nothing lately. Basically I had a short stint a while back as a clown in the circus."
Because I had opened my big mouth, the rest of the flight was filled with looking at pictures of him in a variety of clown get ups, and photos of his cat Mr. Wiggins.
Up, up and away.