one hundred two

“Would Madame like some water?”

The flight attendant, who with each Lilipudian-sized bottle of gin reminded me of more and more of Aunt Clara, was looking directly at me. I pulled out my earbud.


I’m not especially hung up on gender honourifics, but calling a guy “madame” was a bit of a surprise outside of the gayest of cocktail parties.

Aunt Clara nodded towards my dozing neighbour, clearing up an empty mini-bottle of Chardonnay. “Will Madame want some water when she wakes up?”

Having no idea who 2D was, let alone her predilection for hydration, I pulled the international “haven’t a clue” face.

“Oh,” Clara twittered. “You both have the same eyeglasses, so I just thought … .” 

Glancing over at Snoring Beauty I noticed that, while our frames were completely different, hers were, like mine, a shade of blue. Not unlike Aunt Clara’s eyeshadow. 

“My my my,” she said.  “How fluky.” She set down a bottle of water, mouthing, “Just in case.” 

Motioning to my empty glass, she said,  “Shall we call Doctor Bombay once more before landing?” 

“Come quick, right away!”

Reaching into her trolley, she pulled out a doorknob. “Oh dear, that’s not right. I’ll be right back.”

one hundred one

It was towards the end of my eleventh straight double, and my feet were throbbing like a drag queen’s in stilettos two sizes too small.

The campers in the corner banquette showed no signs of leaving. The businessman was leaning back against the bench, his date sidled up next to him, adjusting the napkin-covered tent he was pitching.

The things customers think we can’t see. PDAs are fine, but if you’re in a 4-star hotel’s restaurant, can’t you go back upstairs for your hand job?

While setting up tables for tomorrow’s breakfast, I heard a small crash, a giggle from her and an “Oh, fuck,” from him.  Turning around, I saw her wine glass was turned over, and her ever-unwrapping VonFurstenburg wrap dress was splattered with Malbec.

With index finger raised, he beckoned me.

He. Snapped. His. Fingers.

They’d spilled red and I was seeing it.

“We’ve had a dining mishap,” he said. “Bring some soda water.”

“You know, white wine gets out red,” I said, handing them fresh napkins. “Do you like the Slag’s Lap?”

“Beg your pardon?” His Viagra-flushed cheeks began to turn crimson.

“The Stag’s Leap Chardornay. It’s delightful.”

I got my rosé slip the next morning.

one hundred

They walked him out of the room hours ago, a flimsy bathrobe flapping behind his surgical gown.

Still no news if the procedure went as expected, or if his heart stopped during the anaesthesia.

Odds are forever in favour of the former, but that’s what Melissa Rivers imagined.

What’s waiting like for the non-anxiety prone?

The last quarter-century’s highlights reel continues to loop though my brain. I try to press pause by reading, watching tv, counting breaths. Nothing stops the runaway train of worry.

A lifetime later, a Caribbean nurse comes in and moves the empty bed. “He be back in a few, hon. Just needin’ to rearrange the furniture.”

The sigh of relief just won’t come, as I’m suddenly from Missouri. They need to show me.

They wheel him back in, his gown now polka-dotted with blood. More than a little disconcerting as it was a non-scalpel procedure.

“Doc say everythin’ be fine, my lovelies,” the nurse assures us.

The highlights reel jumps around to the countless times I’ve rolled my eyes at his inability to consume pasta, ketchup or Cabernet without staining his shirt.

My stinging eyes blur over, ever so grateful for the dining mishaps to come.