I recounted a rather embarrassing experience to my mother, who thinks it's the funniest thing she's ever heard. Perhaps you'll enjoy it as well. I, on the other hand, need to stop typing every few seconds to cover my face in embarrassment.
My flight from Atlanta to San Francisco on Monday was late at night. We left Savannah at 10pm, and I was smack dab in the middle of our plane in my standard window seat. Next to me was a United States Marine who was flying home to surprise his family, whom he hadn't seen in a year. And next to him was a gorgeous young woman who promptly fell asleep.
The plane was very dark as we flew across the country. Everyone was either fast asleep or watching the little TV screens on the backs of the chairs in front of them. Very few people had their reading light on and of course, it was pitch black outside. 2 hours into the flight, midnight Atlanta time, I tried to fall asleep. I was wildly uncomfortable, I felt gross and cramped. But my whole row had fallen asleep and there was no way I was going to wake up this American hero so I could stretch by the bathrooms.
The Marine, by the way, was Filipino with very big muscles. He sat in that center seat with his feet square on the floor and his hands in his lap, as I imagine he'd been trained to do. And he looked a lot like my burrito buddy, Big Chris. Also, I'd like to point out, I've spent most of my life travelling with my brother. Flights of any real length have historically been spent next to Alex, and we're used to taking care of each other as we travel.
Ugh. Okay. Here goes.
So with everyone on that plane asleep and finding myself stuck, really in my cramped window seat, I balled my Windbreaker up into a pillow and tried to rest. I slipped in and out of consciousness for about an hour, and when I woke up, the man next to me had shifted forward, resting his elbows on his tray table and sleeping with his head in his face.
In my haze, confusion and general disorientation, the man next to me seemed like Big Chris or my brother. His presence felt very familiar and the poor guy was uncomfortably trying to sleep on his elbows.
I reached over and lovingly scratched his back.
I know. I know, I know, I know.
The second I did it, I woke the fuck up and realized that I just molested a United States Marine somewhere over Kansas. The Marine sat right up, unsure of what happened and looked over at me.
"Oh my God." I whispered. "I thought you were my brother."
I started laughing a little, out of sheer horror and shock at what I'd done. The Marine didn't say anything, but sat back in his chair and stared straight ahead. And then we sat like that for another 2 or 3 hours. I have no idea how long it was. It fucking felt like 10...