Monday, September 27, 2010
Flying with Ativan Man
There are times in the year when I am a shit magnet. Shit seems to fly at me from the most random and unexpected encounters. I’ve made peace with this aspect of my karma but there are still days when I have no choice but to shake my head and laugh at my weird luck. I was reminiscing on my shit magnet status with a few folks when I remembered Ativan Man. Ativan Man is someone I was seated beside when I was flying out for my vaykay. He was so normal as to be almost invisible. This is, until the airplane’s ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign dinged on and the engines started to rev up. That’s when Ativan Man suddenly got extremely anxious and started digging madly through his bag while hyperventilating. I tried to ignore this for as long as I could but it was clear that I would have to intervene. I very reluctantly turned to Ativan Man and asked, “ummm what’s up?” “Need my pills! I NEED MY PILLS WE’RE FLYING!!!!!!!!!!” was his response. Only with my luck could I have been seated next to a man afraid of flying who didn’t pre-medicate. Before I could get another word in he started to wildly gesticulate towards his hands complaining that they were becoming numb and tingly which elicited the unwanted attention of the next row. People thought that I was travelling with him while I tried to avert their gaze and wished that I could sink to the bottom of my seat and stay there forever – or at least until the plane landed. But I put on my nurse face (again reluctantly) and told him to start deep breathing while I found the conspicuous orange container in his bag. I opened the bottle for him and he took half a tablet. I encouraged him to take the other half. He did. Twenty minutes after take-off, he was snoring with his mouth open and turned towards me. I landed six hours later with my hair smelling like old coffee breath.