I slept with a stewardess once. Right in front of everybody. My wife even.
It was in flight, too, an L-1011 from O’Hare to LAX, double booked. Another flight had been cancelled and they shoved the displaced passengers, tired and sullen, onto our plane. We were midway down the row, all crammed and miserable, my wife on my right and an empty seat on my left. I thought I’d lucked out with no one beside me when at the last second an off duty stewardess, thoroughly irritated, sat down. It was the last seat on the plane another stewardess told her. I pressed to the right to give her room. She glared at the floor. She was blonde and lovely and perfect. I looked away. She shifted about, looking for room for her perfect legs. I gave her more room, squeezing to the right. She said nothing and read a magazine. I started a book and tried not to notice her every move. My wife was lost in a novel.
The flight was turbulent, bumpy, crowded, miserable. Endless. It was late and the reading lights flicked off and passengers tried to sleep. My wife nodded off. The stewardess, sighing, dropped off as well. I sat there wishing I could sleep too, knowing I couldn’t. I never fall asleep on planes, never.
I awoke an hour or so later and could feel my arm wrapped around my wife who was who curled up close, nuzzling my chest, sweetly asleep. Very comforting. I opened my eyes and looked down. My wife didn’t have blonde hair. It was the stewardess. I panicked. We had been curled together like that for who knows how long, almost intimate. Completely still, I looked to the right. My wife was sound asleep. Thank god. Very carefully I lifted my arm from round the stewardess, and with the other hand gently pushed her off of me. She mumbled something and rolled the other way. It was only when my arm was safely back in my seat that she awoke. I looked away, feigning sleep, but she was unaware. I said nothing. A few minutes later my wife awoke. The pilot announced we were nearing Los Angeles. We all got our things together and waited. The plane landed. We all stood and exited the aisle. My wife and I chatted but the stewardess and I never shared a word. She disappeared one way, we went another.
Years later I told this story to my wife. I must have been high to even bring it up, but I did. I slept with a stewardess, I said. My wife looked at me with raised eyebrows. Then I explained. My wife stared at me. Funny, she said, very funny.
I never brought it up again.