Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Stewardess

I forgot to tell you a story from the trip last week. 

On my first flight, just a hop to Detroit, I was watching the stewardesses walk up and down the aisle when something occurred to me. The next time one passed, I raised my hand and said, "Do you mind if I ask you something?"

She leaned over slightly. I figured I'd just plough straight ahead.

"You live a large part of your life in this confined space. You walk up and down over and over again. You might even walk differently on the plane. When you're done with a flight, is there any kind of physical adjustment when you walk out into an open space again?"

She looked at me again, but differently this time. "That's a great question," she said. Then she kneeled beside me. "It's not physical, it's emotional. When I'm done with flying for a while, I crave being alone. So much of my day is made up of meaningless social interactions that I don't want to have any on my own time." She paused. "My girlfriends never understand why I don't want to go out with all of them together. I want to see them, but only one at a time."

She'd been a stewardess since she was eighteen, straight out of high school, and she said she'd been doing it for forty-three years. 

It's hard to imagine doing anything for forty-three years, even living, though I have.

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