It’s appalling. I admit it. I’ve become a ditsy old woman.
On the Jet Blue flight back from Los Angeles to Newark, I grumbled to the cashier about paying $3.60 for twenty ounces of Dasani water. I sat near gate 50 and waited to be called to board.
When I checked my boarding pass, I was surprised that I was in Group A. Maybe I paid extra for this seat, but I didn’t remember doing so.
Group A was called right after the first-class passengers. I had checked my suitcase, so all I had was a bag of expensive food and water, and my backpack. After finding my seat, 12 D, I unhooked the neck pillow from my pack and hung it around my neck. I had just settled the rest of my belongings when a young woman stopped beside me and said, “Um, sorry, I think you’re in my seat.”
“Oh, let me check,” I flapped around until I found my boarding pass that I’d stowed in the kangaroo pocket of my sweatshirt. It said 8 D, not 12 D. Maybe 12 D was my seat number on the way to L.A.?
“Sorry, sorry,” I intoned, retrieving my stuff.
My new seat was four rows to the front. I bumped and jostled all the passengers who were going in the right direction. “Excuse me, sorry, sorry, excuse me.”
The aisle seat 8 D was next to a youngish woman. I repeated the motions of depositing all my stuff and looked around for the neck pillow. Oh, no! I must have left it at 12 D. I stood up and searched the rows for my former spot. A flight attendant was there, assisting someone. I waved my arms to get her attention. Waved and waved. Jumped up and down for emphasis. Finally, I caught her eye. She held up a finger. I should wait.
I did, sitting down once again. There was the pillow, wrapped above my shoulders. Minutes later, the flight attendant, a slim African American woman, leaned over. “May I help you?”
“Uh, no thanks. I found it,” I muttered.
As we taxied for take-off, the same flight attendant was checking the storage compartments a few rows ahead. I stared wide-eyed at her shoes. Black patent leather with five-inch heels.
I nudged the woman next to me. “Look at those heels!” I said. “I’d break my legs if I wore those!” She stretched a smile and pointed to her ear buds.
By this time, I really had to pee. I’d been afraid to wander off to the toilet before boarding, so now I needed to go.
The plane finally took off. I unclipped my seatbelt and moved toward the toilet, a few rows ahead.
The same flight attendant stopped me. “Please go back to your seat,” she said. “We’re still climbing.” Did I hear impatience in her tone, or just weariness?
Meekly returning to my seat, I was a model passenger for the duration of the flight. I think.
Lightwood, an e-magazine, published one of my poems in the fall issue. Go to https://lightwoodpress.com/page/2/ to read it and other writers’ work.