NIGHT FLIGHT

After a series of travel snafus, I am now on a night flight to the West Coast, SFO bound, continuing on to PSP. There is an exquisitely dressed woman with a perfect manicure sitting next to me, ablaze in silver and diamonds, sipping chardonnay and reading.

I usually don’t embark on night flights for the simple reason I don’t groove on arriving at my destination in the middle of the night.

As I sip my water splashed with cranberry I can’t help but have Led Zeppelin’s Night Flight playing thru my brain as I recall the last time I flew thru the night to the West Coast.

In my late teens and 20’s, I worked for the handicapped as a PCA. One client, who was also a close friend, was leaving the Minnesota winter to reside in San Diego for  a few months. I agreed to fly him out and “deliver” him to his PCA who had left Minnesota a few weeks earlier to find and rent a house, but I had to be back in Minneapolis the next day to assist another client in the mid morning.

Yes, there was a lot of drug use going on in the profession then, at least in this circle, both by the PCA’s and the clients…aside from the money, I think that was the lure for me….a job where I could be high all of the time.

My task was to carry the disabled man, who was just a couple years older than me onto the plane to his seat, fly with him out to San Diego, carry him off the plane to his PCA who would be waiting at the airport for us.

I thought I was a up and coming rock star back then because I had numerous guitars and equipment, big 80‘s hair, always wore tight ass leather pants, snake skin boots and ingested copious amounts of cocaine on a regular basis in addition to my weed smoking and alcohol consumption. .

As was usual occurrence in my acquisition of narcotics, the arrangement didn’t occur in a timely manner and the purveyor was late in the delivery of the goods.

This being the days before cell phones and 9/11, I scurried to the airport and ran to the gate where my client waited. I was only ten minutes or so late and the plane was held as they tried to figure out the accommodations. All was well as I carried the disabled man onto the aircraft to the scowling looks of the other passengers.

He was on the aisle, across the aisle from him sat business men; I was in the middle seat and a woman sat at the window.

Not surprising, I had to make frequent trips to the lavatory to work on the 8 ball  of cocaine I had in my pocket.  I would put a small amount of coke in a pen cap and bring it back for my travel companion and tip it into his mouth so we could share in the experience. He drank Jack Daniel cokes, I drank my standard Heineken’s.

At one point he said he couldn’t  taste anything, he wasn’t getting any. I tapped the cap upside down on the armrest and this HUGE amount of coke came out. I licked my fingers, swiped up the powder and told him to open his mouth and stick out his tongue and slapped the coke on his tongue. This seemed to rile the businessman across the aisle. But what did I care?

By the time we landed for the lay over in LA, we were both needless to say, in a state of fuckedupedness.

Everyone disembarked, and when they were gone, we had the freedom to do more coke, so we stayed on the plane for the 45 minutes before others passengers started arrive for the flight to  continued on to San Diego.

When we arrived in San Diego, I carried my friend to his awaiting wheelchair and delivered him to his PCA who growled “ You guys are so fucked up” I yipped that I had to return to Minneapolis. And bid them adieu.

The Chargers were playing Oakland? I dunno but it was ”the big game of the local sports teams.” I was wandering into numerous bars, trying to get served but they kept asking me for id, ( unlike the stewardesses on the plane) and I was four months shy on my 21st birthday.

I continued to wander the terminal and then there she was! This beautiful petite girl in tight jeans, a flowing flowery shirt and lite brown hair, just standing there, no luggage, just a leather purse-type bag.

I had yet to really figure out or know what team I was playing for and although I was trying out for both teams, I had yet to score any runs on either.

She asked me with an Irish accent if I was a musician and I lit up as I responded: “yes, I am a guitarist”

“ I could tell” she continued “ with how you are dressed and your aura”

I was melting. We chatted and she asked me about life and prayer and if I had heard of chanting. Telling me George Harrison and the Beatles had done it.  I replied no.

In my brazen cocaine alcohol stupor, I suggested we get a hotel room, I was ready to blow off the return flight to MSP and lose my virginity with this goddess

She reached into her purse and handed me some pamphlets on chanting.

I again made my offer of a hotel room, she made it clear to me that thru chanting and Hari Krishna, the ways of the flesh were not necessary. And the words “Hari Krishna” got through to what little coherent brain activity I had at the time.

I asked her “aren’t you supposed have a shaved head and be wearing an orange robe?”

She told me that not all Krishnas were like that. She offered me the materials, which I took and then she bid me well and turned and I watched her walk away.

Slightly agitated, that I had fallen “in love “ then been rejected by a Hari Krishna, I bee-lined to the next bar to try again to get served and oddly enough, this one didn’t card me. I proceeded to drink, with frequent trips to the head to “refuel”

I boarded the plane in such a state, and in time had the shittiest of feelings…the feeling I hated most: coming down. That blinding head pounding, temple throbbing, ear splitting, eyes feeling like they could explode, cant sleep headache of too much alcohol and cocaine.

I landed in Minneapolis, hitched a ride out of the airport back to my apartment where I smoked a joint to relax and then took a nap before the next shift started.

So as I sit here tonight, clean and sober and 2.5 hours into this night flight, the woman next to me is now asleep, as are a lot of the folks around me. I am perfectly  happy to be nursing my water with a splash of cranberry…although I  do need to make a trip lavatory, as I have to piss like a race horse.

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