Friday, October 05, 2007

Leveled at 35,000 feet

It's 4,277 miles from New York to Rome. Minnie and I had the good fortune to fly first class upstairs in a 747. An hour and a half outside of Rome, our pilot woke us, "Good morning, this is your Captain. We have some very bad news." He got the same attention as God.

We raised the shade to see sunlight and snow on the Alps - the same view for all. Our second-floor, extra-wide seats with extra leg room to "recline" didn't give us any leverage. Our previous night's gourmet dinner on linen with "real" dishes, silver and a red carnation had no priority. The caviar, chicken livers with water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, beef chunks, green pepper and pineapple on skewers, mushrooms stuffed with sage dressing, shrimp in shredded coconut, liver pate, lettuce, spinach, artichoke and walnut salad, half a lobster cooked in a cream sauce, twice baked potato, mixed steamed veggies, kiwi fruit and cheesecake had no clout.

I imagine the sky was filled with furious prayers, beggings not to die, anxiety over dieing, meeting the Lord, and not having done what the person came to do, and the rare calm unafraid person radiating peace and light (That wasn't me.). The Captain interrupted our thoughts, "We have no water. We don't know where it went, but it's all gone. It must have leaked out across the Atlantic." Just what the ocean needs, more water.

There was an audible sigh of relief. Distinctions reinstated, I chose a breakfast of peach yogurt, fresh fruit, a sweet roll, and orange juice. A hot lemon-scented washcloth was offered. How they got it wet, we don't know. Maybe we don't want to. Our Pan Am flight attendants handed out souvenirs: emergency toothbrush, etc. so we wouldn't forget our carrier, or the leveling.

copyright 2007 Red Convertible Travel Series

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