Regarding flying, 2008
Morning brings a vaguely coffee scented beverage on a jumbo jet, then fine Sonoma wine on a twin engine turbo prop. The drinks seem to be getting better as the planes get smaller. I begin to wonder what I'll get in the cab, but no, no such luck.
On the return trip there is a delay, so they offer free beer. The Flight attendant opens a jug of high end micro brew, and gets no other takers, which results in many free refills for me. 40 minutes later I get to the airport, and find it a challenge to walk without alerting security. I have 4 hours to kill before my connecting flight so I do some absentminded shopping. Airports have almost anything you can imagine in micro packs. 2 aspirin. 2 peptos. a single pack of alka-seltzer, tiny de-oderent, a pre-pasted single use toothbrush. I amuse myself by going shop to shop looking at all the mini offerings, and as I sober up slightly, I realize I am hungry, so I try and find some decent food, but the only place open, an airport sports bars offers appetizers, and more booze. "When in Rome" I figure, and take a seat in the corner. "Make it tall" the menu says "1 dollar more". A seductive printed whisper seeming to wink at me from the page decorated with nachos, hotdogs, hot wings and margaritas. "a shot on the side!" it coos, "only a dollar". like a strip joint for your sobriety, a lap dance for the liver. My connecting flight is late, so the flight attendant gives me Courvoisier on the house. Expensive brandy and a mini bag of pretzels. I drift off into uneasy dreams of dimly lit theaters, and wake up in a different state, still flying. The lights are dim, and I can hear soft snoring around me. The flight attendant is back with another bag of pretzels, "Another drink sir?" she asks.
I manage a sleepy smile. "Sure" I say, and look out the window. The twinkling lights below seem to have star filters, making each pin point a brilliant display. She hands me another bottle of Brandy, and as I fumble for my wallet, she waves it away with a smile and a wink. "After Hours" she says. I don't argue. I pour the mini bottle into my plastic cup, and then whisper a toast to no one in particular. "To flying"
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