“Is this guitar yours?” asked me the flight attendant.
“Game over…” I thought to myself.
“Yes, it is,” I answered, with my poker face on.
“Is there any problem?”
“Can you play?”
“Yes, I can.”
“If I asked you to play something for me, would you be able to?”
For half a second I thought these questions were rather strange. But then I remembered that airport people can sometimes ask apparently innocent questions to get liars off guard.
(My friend tells me that every time she goes home to Minnesota they ask her: “Minnesota… MS, right?” A sleepy traveller can easily agree, and then a much longer list of questions follows…)
Without hesitating, I replied: “Yes, I would. Would you like me to?”
“Ah, I love to see a woman play the guitar… I wish I could play too. As we speak there´s a plane leaving for Dublin, full of musicians who are going to play at a festival. How I wish I were on that plane…”
At this moment, the captain´s voice spread throughout the speakers:
“Flight attendants, prepare for take-off.” Flirty flight attendant closes off the conversation with a wink, and proceeds to check overhead bins and seat belts at the speed of light. Only my hysterical laughter knew no restrains, nor could it be easily shut off.
* * * * *
“Dear passangers, here´s your captain speaking!”
I woke up with a start, startled by the loud speakers and the blinding lights all turned on at once.
“In a few minutes we will start our breakfast service.”
I look through the window. It is night. I look at my watch. 4:45am. A bit too early for breakfast, in my opinion. The captain hears my thoughts, and corrects me:
“It is now 5:45 am local time. We have started our descent. To our right, we can see the city of Brasília. We estimate another two hours until São Paulo, landing at aproximately 7:50am, arriving at the gate at 8:07.”
I look at my watch. Still a lot of time left. And after the gate there´s immigration. Then there´s baggage claim. Then check-in line, followed by another possibly traumatic check-in. Then wait for hours till boarding, plus two more hours of flying, so that, with luck, I can be home by dinner.
I look through the window. I can see my city below, still asleep, its little lights glimmering as if it were Christmas already. “Excuse me, sir, this is my stop! Can you let me off? Is there a button I can push, a string I can pull, so you´ll let me off right here?”