Thanks for tuning in for INK ROCK'S debut of The Story Behind the Story! We'll get back to regular programming next week with future chapters of SBS peppered in once a week, every Wednesday, until the series ends.
The Story Behind the Story is a regularly-run segment in memoir form telling the story of the places and experiences that inspired The Revelation Saga. It is taken, in part, from an email journal made during the adventure. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
The Flight that Shagged Me
Like anyone who has ever sat in a seat on an airplane, there comes a moment, whether it’s before take off, during flight, or just before landing, when this dark little thought creeps into your head and makes you wonder if tonight, you make the news.
As the aircraft turns north toward the top of the world, this thought passes through my mind and yet I am confident that if the plane went down this very moment, I would die happy. Having borrowed miles from my traveling salesman father, I’ve upgraded to Upper Class on Virgin Airlines’ flagship, the Triple Seven. I love the name, by the way. And like its name, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot on a slot machine.
All the bullshit is behind me. The tinker toy airplanes, the horrid weather, stinky seats, bimbo co-pilots, and the herd of Joeys from Friends that tried to intentionally get me lost at
. All just a fading memory. JFK Airport
Instead, I’m focused on the glass of champagne I’m drinking, handed to me upon boarding, which I did on time as the weather in New York had, thankfully, delayed takeoff. 1960’s décor and the cutest flight attendants wearing smiles and pink miniskirt uniforms, looking like extras from an Austin Powers movie, fill the cabin.
Look, I’m sort of out of my element here, being a broke-ass law student and all. I know that, but so what? I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this while I’ve got the chance. Right? I mean, it's obvious I'm meant to - there’s even a bar on the plane! A bar…on a plane.
Across the aisle and one row up is actor Fisher Stevens. As I’m drinking up the courage to speak to him about Angelina Jolie’s boob slip in the movie Hackers, my thoughts are interrupted by a pixie flight attendant holding a clip board. “Pardon me, sir,” she says in a bubbly British accent. “What time would you like to schedule your MAH-sage?”
“Massage, sir. With our on-board masseuse?”
She points with her pen to a corner of the plane that’s hiding one of those sit down, lean over things you see at the mall. It's difficult to restrain the inner me that wants to jump up and scream, No freaking way! “After dinner service,” I say instead, like I've done it all before.
“Very good, sir,” she says and gives me a time.
A short while later, I’m three scotches deep and done with dinner. I had Steak Diane, just because I was curious about what exactly made it Diane. Still don't know. The menu is written like something out of a Michelin Star restaurant and I can order anything, anytime. And get this – the food is good. I mean, it’s not going to win any James Beard Awards, but come on – we’re like thirty thousand feet over an ocean.
The massage proves to be the last straw. Besides, it’s late. The experience is euphoric, but I’ve had too much to drink. It’s possible I proposed marriage to the masseuse while her magical fingers worked out every ounce of stress from the muscles in my back.
Afterwards, I stumble back to my chair where I discover that it reclines into a bed. I flip through the stations of my personal video screen, but exhaustion soon takes me. I vaguely remember having a blanket laid over me by a smiling stewardess and just before the world fades away I have a twinge of regret that I’d missed the plane’s bar.
Not that I needed it.