Sky Lounging

We were flying back from Los Cabos last weekend; my wife and I having attended a wedding for her cousin. Our flight had been delayed by a half hour, our legs were tired after a long night of dancing, and we were ready to board the plane and take our seats. As we reached 22 F we noticed a little girl and her father taking up two of the three chairs in our row.

"Hi, we're coming in here," I said softly with a smile.

"You're sitting here?" the girl said with anxiety in her voice. "But I'm sitting here with my dad."

"I think I'm sitting there with my wife," I answered with a laugh, as her father began explaining to her that he had to leave now because his seat was at the front of the plane. The little girl immediately buried her face in her hands and began to cry.

"Nevermind!" I quickly stated, realizing what was going on here. "I can switch seats with your dad." The man asked me if I was sure, and I said it wasn't a problem. I could go take his spot at the front of the plane and they could sit with my wife.

"Thank you so much," he said to me as I waded my way back through the incoming line of passengers. I took my new seat towards the cockpit and settled in next to a pair of old school boozers who were already busy ordering their first round of drinks.

"Why not?" I asked myself, as I punched in a Cazadores with a side of ice on the flat screen in front of me. Straight tequila on the rocks is an under-estimated beverage. By the time we took off and my cocktail was being delivered, the stewardess handed me three minis instead of one.

"That was very nice what you did back there," she whispered, and slipped me the extra contraband without once looking my way. I took my first sip and a warm, fuzzy feeling overtook my entire body. Tequila really does have an entirely different buzz than other spirits; it's more buoyant or lifting in a way.

When the flight attendants had finally cleared the aisle, I went back to check on my wife. The man had now switched seats with his other daughter and the three ladies seemed to be hitting it off. I asked the two sisters how they were doing and they asked if I could help set up their video games for them. After we got the software working, my wife mouthed something silently and pointed in the direction of the father.

"What?" I mimed, not understanding. She made a motion like she was shoveling dirt, which only added to my confusion. After a few minutes, I figured out what she was trying to convey.

"My daddy plays hockey," the younger daughter finally said.

I eventually made my way back to the front, offered a mini bottle of tequila to the couple next to me (they accepted immediately), and enjoyed the rest of my short high. When we landed, I exited the plane far ahead of my wife and went forward to save a spot in the customs line. My wife walked out a few minutes later hand-in-hand with the two girls. When she lifted up one of the ropes to move underneath it and take her place with me, one of the daughters ran out to give her a hug. The dad came over to shake my hand and thank me again for switching seats.

It was the same man who did this back in the late 1990s. I remember that game well.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll