My Way

by Jack Swenson

                                                              A Satire

I met her on an airplane aimed at Minneapolis. She was a stewardess, er, flight attendant. I was a lonely passenger. I always carry a book with a provocative title when I travel. This time it was Reich's The Function of the Orgasm. “Mm,” she said, “That looks interesting.” I shrugged. I told her I hadn't read it.

We were over Casper, Wyoming, when some terrorists tried to take over the airplane. They had concealed weapons. They herded us all to the back of aircraft. I was jammed against the flight attendant's backside. “Nice bustle,” I whispered. She giggled.

“Let's rock and roll,” somebody said. “Banzai!” screamed a Japanese passenger. We charged up the aisle in a pack and bowled over the terrorists. We stomped them. We squished them beneath our feet. We tossed the bodies out of a door in coach.

Afterwards, the first officer declared an open bar, and we all got drunk on free drinks.

I cuddled with the flight attendant in first class. We drew the curtains. We kissed. “I love you,” I said. “I love you, too,” she said. I ran my hand up her leg underneath her skirt, but she was wearing panty hose, so that was that. She smiled and kissed the tip of my nose. “Not on the first date,” she said.

When we landed in Minneapolis, we exited the airplane to the cheers of hundreds of reporters and airline personnel. Somebody played a tape of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”

When we parted, we had tears in our eyes. The flight attendant dabbed at her mascara. She gave me her phone number, and I gave her mine.  “Oh, Jake, we could have had such a damned good time together!” she said. I said I couldn't remember what Jake's reply was. It had been a long time since I had read any Hemingway.