On my 21st birthday, I knew I was going to puke even before the flight took off. The stewardess asked me immediately if I needed anything and she forced me to have ginger-ale and gave me a trash bag. I threw up the entire 30 minute descent. I could feel how warm it was on my legs through the bag and I vomited nearly half a gallon of liquid. Like a good kickball size of water/ginger-ale. It was a long day.
I arrived an accidental three hours early for my flight home from New York. I like to show up with just enough time to board so this was an out-right outrage on my part when I realized my flight didn’t depart until 5:40 and not 5pm. Then my flight was delayed an hour because of mechanical issues and the stupid runway at LaGuardia.
When they told us they had to call a mechanic there was this over-weight, middle-aged black woman panicking.
“Ohhh lord, I ain’t tryna hear dat shit. Dat the kinda shit make me not wanna get on dis plane”. I was waiting for her to say “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”, but life isn’t all you expect it to be.
I have a middle seat because Jesus likes to punish me in these ways and when the woman who had the window seat sat down she said, “that’s a good book!”. I have Catcher in the Rye with me. I’m re-reading it to see if I want to kill Ringo Star more than usual because you know, the guy who killed John Lennon said his defense was this book. I might have missed something in it.
I laughed and that was that. She was blonde, short-ish hair and young looking. Like Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
I fell asleep somewhere early on in the flight and when I awoke I was in a daze and had the worst dry throat and no liquid. Kate Hudson was drinking her second Vodka Cranberry. I started thinking about that drink and how it reminded me of my life before I found Gin. What a classic white-girl drink and I was judging her when she said, ‘vodka cranberry?’
SS: ‘actually thanks!’ And I took a sip not worrying about mono or Hep C. I don’t even know if you can get Hep C from a drink really.
K: ‘You look like you could use a drink.’
SS: ‘thanks, I’m exhausted.’
K: ‘Did you have fun in New York?’
SS: ‘Yeah! What about you? Are you from Denver?’
K: ‘I went to school in NY but I’m originally from Denver.’
SS: ‘Me too! Where did you go?’
K: ‘The New School, you? Where are you from in Denver?’
SS: ‘ I went to NYU and I’m from Lakewood, you?’
K: ‘ah Cherry Creek’. These are really close to one another, maybe 10 or so minutes away. We then small talked for a minute about our degrees and jobs and shit that’s not really important to this story.
SS: ‘Oh cool. Did you have fun in New York?’ I shouldn’t have asked and I knew I shouldn’t have. She just asked me in a way that made me know she didn’t have any fun, but I had to know. I had to.
K: ‘No. I flew in yesterday to see my boyfriend and now I’m going home. My boyfriend and I started dating four months ago, and two months ago we found out I was pregnant. We bought a house together and he said he doesn’t want to do it anymore. So I’m going home to live with my parents.’
SS: ‘Wow, I’m really fucking sorry’. It was all I could think to say.
K: ‘it’s alright.’ And then a tear dropped from her eye. ‘He has a four year old son with his ex wife, and she’s a real fucking bitch.’
SS: ‘I’m sure she is. All ex-wives are bitches.’
K: ‘So I’m moving home I guess cause he doesn’t want to live with me. Where do you live?’
SS: ‘I live at home too. In Lakewood’ She reached over and grabbed my hand and squeezed it.
K: ‘How old are you?’
SS: ‘I’ll be 23 next month.”
K: ‘I Just turned 33 on Friday. (She doesn’t look a day past 27) My boyfriend forgot my birthday.’
SS: ‘I’m sorry. What a douchebag. If it helps my Dad always forgets my birthday and wishes me a happy one a month early. Sometimes I don’t even correct him.’ This made her laugh.
K: ‘Cheers!’ She handed me her drink again. ‘What’s your name?’ And I told her my name and she told me hers and then she looked at me dead on and said ‘[my real name], I’m scared’.
I’d never felt so awful in my fucking life. Seriously. Never in my whole life.
SS: ‘I know, but it’s going to be okay. I knew a bunch a fucks who got knocked up in high school and they turned out to be good mothers so you can do it! It’s really going to be okay.’
K: ‘ I know I shouldn’t be drinking but whatever. I don’t care. I know people who do Heroin and shit so I just want two vodkas.’
SS: ‘I think you’ll be fine. My ma smoked cigarettes the whole time and I’m awesome.’ She laughed again. ‘Did you have any idea he was going to say this?’
K: ‘No. He was really excited. I think he still loves his ex and she’s such a cunt. She called me a whore and all this shit and she doesn’t even know me. I’ve only slept with four people my whole life!’
SS: ‘Well she sounds like a cunt and I’ve slept with 62.’
She held my hand again and asked if I’d order us some drinks. She really wanted to share one and how the fuck do you not? I know pregnant women aren’t supposed to drink, but I’d be on my 10th whiskey if I was her so I agreed. We had to order beer though because they were out of vodka and the stewardesses were real fucks. I don’t know if they were just being the norm of bitchy or I felt extra sensitive with their attitude towards my new best friend.
Kate went to go pee and we finally got our beers. In the next few minutes she told me about how she’s been engaged two times; the first man was gay and the second, a pot head. I told her I was proposed to on the big screen at a Rockies game when I was 17 and how I had to say yes and then retract it. ‘That ended well’, I said, and she laughed.
I had asked if she wanted to have kids and she said last year the doctors said she had a 10% chance of it ever happening and then the second time she slept with her boyfriend, she got pregnant. That’s how it always happens I hear. She told me again she was scared and cried a little. I told her she’d be okay.
She looked around and started to wiggle in her seat and then she burped. Said she was going to get sick and grabbed her beer can and just started puking into it profusely. I had nothing to give her, no bag, no napkins, just watched her puke into the can and then on the seat, and onto her lap. I couldn’t help but laugh a little. She couldn’t have asked for a better seat partner. While everyone else was giving out dirty looks and shooting us shade, I was happy to be the least judgmental person I know.
We finally got her a bag and she poured the throw-up-can in and wiped off her face. I helped her put it all in the bag and got a little vomit residue on my hand and somehow wasn’t phased. I once had to stick my fingers down a friends throat so she’d puke, so this was minor.
She had chunks of pink puke in her hair and on her sweater. I patted her on the back and asked her if she needed anything. She said, ‘No, thanks baby!’ and laughed.
There was a chunk of throw up floating in her cup of beer and I couldn’t help but think of how ridiculous it was that I was pouring my beer into that stupid fucking plastic cup as if drinking out of the can was below me.
She had been in a sorority, shocker. No one I know throws up after two vodkas. Except for this one bitch I hate from my old job.
She took her napkin, dabbed out the throw up from her beer, wiped off her sleeve with her beer napkin and then took a fucking sip.
It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Ever.
She passed the fuck out, only to wake up a bit later and throw up a little more into a napkin.
I almost admire her.
So here’s to you Kate. Cheers.