Selena, the stewardess in distress


September 11th, I’m flying from Santiago, Chile to Vancouver, but get grounded in San Diego for four days. It wasn’t the worst news for me, frankly. I was returning to a failing tea business, a posh condo I was about to default on and no furniture, because it had recently been repossessed. If the world was really devolving into world war 3, I was ready.

Anyways, I stayed on the plane after everyone had cleared out. I don’t know what I was thinking; I just sat there, looking out the window at the runway, not ready to face San Diego International and the mobs of stranded travelers. Selena saw me as she was walking down the aisle and instead of telling me to get off the plane; she sat down next to me and started to cry.

“I don’t want to die in San Diego,” she said, which is an almost universal human sentiment.

We stayed together at an airport hotel and avoided the news, except for updates on when they might be able to send us home. She made love to me like she was on fire and told me almost nothing about herself. I know she was Chilean and married and that she giggled uncontrollably when I went down on her, but wouldn’t tell me to stop. We lived for four days in a quiet vacuum, on the precipice of the end of the world.

When planes flew again, we both cried painfully. I don’t know why, we didn’t really know each other. When we went our separate ways, she gave me her email address and told me that under no circumstance was I to ever write her, a promise I continue to keep.

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