Some events are triple paragraph events. They deserve to be blogged about, but you’d have to milk them for more than they’re worth to turn them into a full story. You’d have to lie, that is. So here is a short moment that captured me in dim light, if you will. This proves once more that when a writer travels, there will be more embarrassing moments than paparazzi ones.

I drink a lot when we fly, to combat jet lag. Nothing alcoholic, just the light stuff. This leads to frequent trips into the broom closet they call the airplane lavatory. I have never had interesting experiences there, but it was about to change in the air above the Atlantic Ocean. Having done the necessary, I was ready to head back to my seat. I slid the latch from OCCUPIED to VACANT and folded back the door, only to have it slammed back shut in my face.

In the fleeting moment it was open, I had noticed one air hostess kneeling on the ground and another with her back to me. Perhaps somebody had collapsed and they were saving a life and I needed to give them their space. Or perhaps a tray tipped over and they’re cleaning up in front of the door? I waited. And waited. I felt like a naughty child wanting to be told that her time-out was over. After maybe five of six minutes the door flew open as abruptly as it had been shut. A stunned air hostess stared at me. “Do you need another minute?” She knew nothing about the earlier episode as I explained the reason for my hanging around in the closet. I’m sure she kept her eye on me for signs of intoxication as I tried to walk to my seat with an air of dignity.

A few more glasses of juice and water later, I was headed back there. It was green and vacant and I went in fast, bumping into the same hostess who now stood hunched over, emptying juice and milk boxes into the lavatory. It was my turn. “Do you need another minute?” I asked as sincerely as I could.