I went to visit the boyfriend this weekend. I had a credit on account with WestJet, so I used that baby up and took a 50 minute flight instead of making a 5 hour drive each way.
Now, I hate flying. I am utterly helpless, in a big heavy tube that shouldn’t be able to float let alone fly, my life is in the hands of someone behind a door I’m not allowed to look behind and it is a long fucking way down. I have had several nightmares of crashing to my death in a plane, though luckily I always wake up before impact. It’s just not my idea of a good time.
I’ve popped several Gravol in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve popped several Ativan in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve stayed up full nights before a flight in a lame attempt to knock myself out. Did nothing. I’ve taken books, portable DVD players, knitting, crossword puzzles, sudoku, homework, magazines, anything I’ve been allowed to bring on a plane, I have tried to use as a distraction. None of them work.
I have a very strict set of rituals that I have to follow before I fly. I won’t go into them, but they are strict and must be followed. I have always followed them, and to this point, I have not crashed to my death, so they must work. Right.
The only thing I am allowed to change in my set of procedures is the way I try to calm myself down.
This time? I got drunk. Drunkity drunk drunk in the airport bar. I teetered my way onto the plane and took my seat. Contentedly grinning to my drunken self, I eavesdropped on the conversation my row-mate was having with some other person across the aisle.
I am a very personable, chatty, lovely drunk. When I’m drunk, I’m funny, you’re funny, that guy over there is funny. When I’m drunk, I don’t hate everybody…which is a big difference from my normal sober self.
I offered my 2 cents on what they were talking about, and that was that. From that point on, I had made myself a plane friend. He was an older guy, 60ish, and was nice to talk to. We talked about the upcoming election, agriculture, western Canada, the environment, university, this that and the other thing. We talked about doctors, traded scary doctor stories, about the french vs. the english in Canada….everything.
I completely forgot I was in a plane!! It was the craziest thing. Turns out the amazing powers of wine can extend to curing phobias as well.
We continued on with our lovely plane chat and after we talked about how I didn’t have a car cuz I live in downtown Toronto, and neither does the boyfriend, he asked how I was getting back to the boyfriends if he wasn’t picking me up. I shrugged and observed that I’d probably just grab a cab.
Now, this is where the title of this post comes in:
HE OFFERED ME A RIDE TO THE BOYFRIEND’S.
Folks, do NOT do as I do. It flashed through my mind that I wasn’t about to die in a plane as I had so often pictured, but I would instead die after landing safely in an ironic and awful twist. But as soon as the thought popped into my head, it was gone. There was just something….okay about him. No bells went off. No sirens, no red flags, no second thoughts.
The thing is, for anybody who knows me (and I care about), they would totally pick me as the person most likely to beat them to a pulp for doing what I did. Taking a ride from a stranger will qualify you immediately for the custom Talea Freak Out and Bitch Slap combo.
I got into his truck, at night, and allowed him to drive me to the boyfriend’s house, in a city that I know nothing about. He could have been driving me in the completely wrong direction, and I would have been none the wiser.
But he didn’t. He drove me right to the boyfriend’s house, wished me a good night and that was that. He wouldn’t even let me buy him a coffee for the ride.
I don’t know. I have no explanation, no excuse. It was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but in a small teeny tiny way, it restored my faith in people. He gave me a lift just because it was nice and because cabs are expensive. He wanted nothing for it, just some conversation.
Go ahead, yell at me. It was dumb. Downright unintelligent and showed total lack of self-preservation on my part. I may need to get my head examined. It’s 2008 and this isn’t fucking Mayberry. I repeat: DO NOT DO AS I DID.
But Terry, thank you so very much for the ride. I really appreciated it and also appreciated the $40 I saved on cab fare.
Oh, and flying while tipsy? Totally works. By the time I was able to register that there was turbulence and make sense of what I was trying to tell myself, we were through the turbulence. It was pretty sweet.