As you may know, I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I spend a lot of time in Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle.
Tomorrow at 6 a.m., I head to the airport to go to Willie Crawford’s Birthday Bash in Orlando. (I hope to see you there 🙂
And if you’ve heard me talk, or read enough of my writings, you know that I’ll pretty quickly get around to the spiritual side of things. I truly believe that we attract what we get and create much of our lives by the way we live, what we believe and the actions we take.
So…I need your help. In my travels this week, something happened that I just can’t figure out. I told this story to my friend Martin Sabel (Mr. Eldercare) today and he said, “Okay, Dave – what’s the positive thing that comes from this?”
I don’t know. I’m not sure I have to know. But it sure is puzzling.
There’s nothing for sell here. This is just an experience that I can’t figure out.
This week, I flew to Seattle on Monday. When I booked the ticket, the flight was nearly full and only middle seats in the back of the plane were open.
I couldn’t do it. So, for the second time in life, I took the plunge and upgraded to First Class. It cost me 30,000 points and $150, but I was sure it was worth it.
The flight out was great. I got a lot of work done in my spacious seat and really enjoyed the warm nuts and the grilled chicken salad I had for lunch. (And I tried not to think about the $150 meal…)
On the return, it was the worst flight experience I’ve ever had.
Still in First Class, I checked in at the airport about 5 p.m. PT to sit in a WI-FI area and work until 11:30 p.m. when my flight was scheduled to leave.
At 1:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. where I was headed), the flight took off – packed to the gills as predicted.
In my aisle seat (5b, this is important), I found myself sitting next to an older woman (probably my age) and she wanted to talk. I did not. I wanted to sleep.
The guy across the aisle from me was already at it…eyes closed, mask on, blanket up…sleeping like a baby.
But I also noticed something was weird with my seat. It was like the cushion had been worn through and shorten. My butt seemed to sit on metal while the cushion was rolled up under my thighs cutting off the blood circulation actually causing my legs to go to sleep. Whatever, I thought. I’ll be asleep soon.
So when the attendant, Scott, came over to ask if we wanted anything to drink, I said no, “I’ll be asleep before we leave the runway or I’ll be really disappointed.”
I made sure the woman heard me.
With my eyes closed, I was asleep in no time. But I heard something and felt someone slapping my leg.
It was the woman bent over coughing, red in the face, and looking a little panicked. “Do you need water,” I asked. She shook her head yes. I motioned for Scott.
Then the woman passed out. Went completely limp.
She looked completely dead.
I shook her…nothing. No response. Scott arrived and said, “Oh, my God.” He reached across her, shook her and yelled, “Lady, stay awake…lady…wake up.”
He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back (I’m still sitting in my seat, she’s against the window, Scott’s reaching across me…) and he flips her back.
She’s limp, dead weight slumped in the corner of the seat against the window.
He asked me to step out. I did. Scott shakes her, telling her to wake up and she does…just a bit…like she’s drunk. But I know that wasn’t the case – it had only been about 20 minutes since we took off.
Slowly, she begins to come back and Scott says, “Uh-Oh.” She’s vomited all over the floor in front of her and next to me. He looks at me and says, “Is that your bag?” “Uh-huh,” I nod. “You’d better get it out of there before it’s too late,” he said.
Scott runs off to get stuff to clean up everything and a couple of plastic bags for her.
I stood in the aisle for about 20 minutes while he and another flight attendant cleaned up the scene and worked on her to keep her lucid.
Scott then offered me the jump seat – that’s the little fold down seat in the front galley by the door. The first thing I do is sit down and rest my arm on something on the wall.
It’s dark. I’m tired. The woman sitting next to me looked dead…wierd night, right?
Scott comes in and says you don’t want to put your arm on that. I look and it’s the latch to the door I’m resting my arm on.
After about 45 minutes, he says, it’s safe to go back if you want. It’s up to you. I think about it for another 10 minutes and realize there’s no way I can sit in the jump seat for another 3 hours with my knees pressed against the opposing wall and my back straight as a ramrod.
So, I return to 5b and take my place.
The woman looks up a bit…just enough to confirm that she looks like death warmed over…and says, “I’m sorry, sir.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I said. And I wanted to say “It happens” but I didn’t because I’d never heard of this happening before.
I close my eyes, my legs aching and squirming from the uncomfortable seat…and the woman starts coughing and retching again into the bag Scott has given her.
If I could have moved any further into the aisle and still remained in my seat, I’m not sure how.
That went on for the next three hours. I was the second one off the plane as it dumped us into Dallas.
I’ve had a 90 minute layover, no sleep and it’s now 8:10 a.m. central time. I’m still in First Class and my ticket says 4b. Good. I’m closer to the door…in and out.
That’s what I want. Because when I get to Birmingham, I still have a 2 hour drive to Atlanta.
This is the exact same type of plane that we flew from Seattle. As I walk into the plane bound for Birmingham, I look for 4b. It’s on the right side of the plane.
Something’s wrong because I sat on the left side of the plane on the flight from hell.
You guessed it. I had been sitting in the wrong seat on the flight from Seattle. I wasn’t even supposed to be there. I was supposed to be where the guy who slept the entire night was – across the aisle. He had my seat. So I took his not even thinking that it might have been the wrong one.
So, just before I closed my eyes to get a 90-minute sleep while I sat in 4b, I asked myself “Why?”
Martin – I can’t think of a thing positive about that experience. But I don’t have to have the answers, I know. The positive thing may have been something I’m not privy too, but in any case…
I’m one tired cookie writing this note.
Signing off now.
If you have any ideas about “Why?”, I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below.