Just when I needed him once again, my favorite pilot appears in town for a couple of days. He grabbed me for dinner and admonished me for not eating enough. Trust me, I eat enough food for my training. His great spirit and enthusiasm about all things flying are good for my soul at this point. He’s also heroic- former astronaut, handsome and always fun for me. A man of spirit who has been a friend for years.
My favorite outing with him is heading to the airport to check out his Citation. We took a spin out over the Lake winding around the city and back into the airport. There wasn’t much to see because of the low cloud cover but my fun is inside the cockpit and not so much outside; my hands touching the instruments and listening to his southern drawl; the engines in my chest as they turn.
“I can’t get over how absolutely gorgeous you are, kid!”, he says to me with a twinkle in his eye. “Every time I come to town, you are different but there is a joy about you that I haven’t seen in a few years”. “The next time I am in town, you will be a switch”, he teased. Yes, I have lost a few pounds for my running and I am far from being a “switch”, his term for a thin woman. Trust me, I am an Amazon, nothing “gorgeous” and will remain so.
My pilot friend said something else that left me reeling. As I left him after a brandy in the hotel bar, he said that every head turned when we entered the steak house. It was nice to hear that someone enjoys just spending a bit of time with me especially this man who takes time to hunt me down when he comes to town. Sometimes I just need someone like this friend who will talk “trash” to me and laugh with me.
I suspect that heads turn because of him. Well, he’s handsome and walks with a swag thus I love being on his arm as he’s quite lovely to behold-reminds me of my rock star creative arts colleague who is stunning. I am barely noticeable but he can silence a room by entering it, the product of Naval Academy training and military service. Now in his early 60s, he’s more handsome with his grey shock of hair and precision walk.
“It’s you kid”, he said. “You just don’t know how much of a shadow you cast and how completely beautiful you are when you are flying”. He tells me that my eyes just take on a look of complete excitement and fun. This time I will believe him a bit because the smell of jet fuel in my grey hair is my favorite perfume; maybe I am starting to look like a pilot.
I am grateful for this neat friend who lets me sit in his right seat and tells me that I am beautiful, when I am not, just good to hear from someone sometimes. My brother in flight and in my heart but he needs his head and eyes examined. And so I continue to run, this morning shaving one minute off my mile time. Maybe I might be able to call myself a runner at some point; right now content to jog.