The glamorous life of a writer, Part 3: Snap shot in the lavatory

The glamorous life of a writer, Part 3: Snap shot in the lavatory

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.

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