Flight Time

The plane was half full out of Atlanta; I took the empty last seats on the wide side, stretched into a loose question mark across the three narrow spaces, and snoozed.  A  mark of my exhaustion – the 727’s take-off startled me out of sound sleep.  But  even as we climbed and my body rolled tighter to the seat backs, I drifted out of real time again and was gone.

Sorry! someone whispered loudly, that kind of whisper you want to be heard but not in a startling way.

Wha . . . are we there yet?


“New York?  La Guardia?” I was feeling my voice now.  It was me asking questions.  My mouth making sounds.  I knew then I’d drooled – a big wet spot on the back of my hand, the one I’d used to pillow my cheek.  If the voice, the stage whisper voice that sounded vaguely like Morgan Freeman and flannel shirts and Polo aftershave, if the voice, that voice, saw the drool … eu.  I didn’t open my eyes.

“We’re circling La Guardia,” the voice offered.  “There’s a full moon in a gossamer haze out the window on the right, and the Lady in the Harbor holding up her light on the left.” 

And I felt the lightest touch brush a loosed strand of hair from my face … then, I heard the absence of him.  Drool didn’t matter.  Or embarrassment.  I opened my eyes.  No one.  And no flannel scents to guide.

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