Yesterday, while on a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, I interviewed an oft-forgotten celebrity of world travel. Over a complimentary two bags of honey-roasted peanuts and a Sprite, he gave me exclusive insight into the trying lifestyle and over-looked hardships of a salary-neglected, Alaskan Airlines Rockstar:
-c: So, how do you feel most days?
Travel Rockstar: Well, for the most part, I'm very happy. But, it's always a rollercoaster of excitement and emotion, isn't it?
-c: Absolutely. So, what brings on your highs?
TR: Well, I feel really good when people recognize me in the aisles, comment on my dedication and achievement, notice my stylish attire and feel comfortable sitting down with me for take-off, and sharing their iPod favorites with me.
-c: Sounds great! So, when does your rollercoaster cart descend?
TR: Well..., we all feel a little insecure sometimes, I guess...
Sometimes, I question my own self worth when people lean up against me while they're waiting for the lavatory, or when they bump up against me while "stretching their legs" without even feigning a mumbled "I'm sorry."
-c: Yeah, that could be tough for anyone...
TR: Occasionally, I even get a little peeved when people curse me for not being as limber as their local yoga guru or as flexible as their new shoe insole...
-c: Well, it seems shoe insoles these days get a little more praise than they deserve...
TR: No doubt! And..., well..., I even feel a little ignored and neglected when people throw their purses in my lap without asking permission, and when they, uninvited, grab my arms and try to maneuver them up and down as if my limbs were but stringed appendages of their agents' marionette...!
-c: I understand. So, what keeps you in the business?
TR: Well, to be honest... being the non-reclineable, window-less Back Seat of a commercial airplane isn't all that glamorous. But, I have to say, I occasionally get the appreciative passenger who treats me with respect and dignity despite my faults. I've even had a few people leave me their cell phone or passport in my pocket as a token of our intimate relationship!
-c: Well, that sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, I have to cut this interview short, as my neck is killing me.
*Update: Just flew into L.A. to do some moving and play. Will be driving back up to Seattle shortly with a car-full of gear, a stop in the Bay, and a few more stories. Long live the cramped, back seats of airplanes!