NWA 347

I look around me. I’m traveling first class, which I think is a mistake, but I’m going with it. I typed in my origin and my destination into our corporate travel web site and this is what came up. First class. I’m going to play along until someone stops me. This is what I see around me. Three older white men sleeping. Hands crossed in laps, head bowed. Two men (plus me) working on laptops. One on a work document, one organizing downloaded music files. And me. Observing them. One man reading the NWA magazine, concentrating on the article “A Ticket to the World,” news about Northwest’s partner airlines. Or maybe he’s sleeping. No, he’s really reading. Not sure why, but he is. Now he’s studying the types of planes Northwest flies. 16 747-400s. 17 747-200s. 8 A330-300s. 22 Dc-10s. 72 757-200/-300s. 148 A319/A320s. 164 DC-9-10/-20/-40/-50s. 36 RJ-85s. 94 CRJs. 64 Saab 340s. And the North American route systems. Where the hubs are. Where the flights go to. Now he’s joined the ranks of the sleepers. A man to my left, reading a paperback novel. Tom Clancy, perhaps???? Why am I the only woman in first class? The man next to me, awake now, listening to his iPod. Scanning through artists, selecting the one perfect one. Still scanning, still circling. More, more, more. Stop. Yes, that’s the one. Wish I could tell you what he was listening to, but can’t see it because of the glare. Two men in front of me, talking about a radio campaign. One sniffing a lot, as though he’s done too much cocaine in his lifetime. “Yeah, that’s what we’ll do. Rad, man. Yeah. That’s it…” sniff, sniff, sniff…. A gnat flying around. I’ve tried to swat it several times, unsuccessfully. There it goes again. Fly, fly, fly…. Over my wine glass, over the man sleeping next to me… Fly, fly, fly… I’ll get you. Yes, I will.

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