February 12, 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I’ve begun to think of myself as “Princess.”  Do you think this is healthy? 

I was at the Burbank airport, pushing my luggage through the magnetic thingy-thing, and the loudspeaker was saying, “Last call for flight such-and-such non-stop service to Oakland, last call.”  My flight, of course, and then the security guy decided to put my bag through twice for some reason.  “Final boarding call,” and I thought, “Run, Princess, run!” which is what Teresa says when I break into a trot.  So I ran in my high heals with my big boobs and big bags flying about, to the boarding area.

“Do I need a boarding pass?”  (I had my confirmation number and I.D.) 

“Right over there,” said the guy and called across the room.  “One more.  Hold the plane.  She’s ticketless.”  So I ran across the big room, got my boarding pass, ran back to the boarding area, gave them my pass, ran across the wet rainy pavement, up the air-stairs and into the plane, all the while hearing Teresa’s voice in my head, “Run, Princess, run!”  It was like in Star Wars when Luke hears Obi-wan.

I came into the plane, panting, and the stewardess said, “First seat as you go in,” so I plopped down, and a few minutes later the guy next to me said, “Excuse me miss, I think you’re sitting on my phone.”

“Oh.  Sorry.”  This must have charmed him, because he tried to talk to me, but I pretended to be asleep.

When we were landing, going through thick clouds, I was in agony.  You couldn’t see anything out the window; the ground could have been anywhere.  And I started to hope for a quick death and to wonder what Teresa would do without me.  It seemed terribly sad and at the same time odd that I could have such a resigned terror all mixed up with amusement.  The stewardesses came by, picking up trash and joking, but I was not fooled.  It seemed to be a kind of professional heroism to keep us all from panicking.  Then they sat down and fastened their seat belts (so I was right!) and I leaned forward and whispered loudly, “How do they steer the plane when they can’t see?”

“They have navigation equipment.” 


“It works really well.”

I nodded.  Then we broke through the clouds and almost landed in the bay, but my will power kept us aloft just long enough to make it to the runway, and we landed nicely. 

When I got home I called Teresa and told her all about running for the plane and when I told her about sitting on the phone she said, “Did you call anyone?”