I cherish flying alone. In my long-gone dream job as a flight attendant, flying alone was a treasured perk.
Once, as a working flight attendant, I was dead-heading to another flight, and a large man sitting next to me as I sat there in full navy suit, striped cuffs, silver-winged glory, asked, “So, do you fly much?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe 150,000 miles a year.”
And that was the end of that gentle, but inexperienced weirdo’s conversation with me. Perfect.
In my youth, flying alone meant traveling to see friends, family, or new horizons. I felt singularly happy, confident, and self-absorbed. But flying solo has become as rare as a three-legged unicorn to me now. Marriage, kids, elderly parents, all took their toll on independent travel.
In my middle/late years, an opportunity to fly alone takes me directly back to my single, carefree days of adventurous exploration. I become giddy with anticipation. Packing. Purchasing decadent candy snacks. Selecting a good book. Any book from my slush pile of best intentions, serves two purposes: entertainment and avoidance. Of people.
Unfortunately, there are two types of strangers I attract…harmless weirdos and reborn Christians. Weirdos just need someone to listen. RC’s insidiously draw you into conversation with non secular topics then weave their religious views/testimony into a “dialogue” that feigns an interest in your thoughts.
On a flight to attend a friend’s mother’s funeral, I was accosted by just such another God-fucker. Despite my attempts to let him know I am not religious, nor do I believe in God or the promise of an afterlife, he continued to converse with me. And I allowed myself to continue conversing with him. I am so angry at myself, it is one of those self-loathing life lessons that take days to absorb and release.
When my bladder finally spoke up because it has more balls than I do, I excused myself. I will admit to staying in the lavatory a little longer than I needed, and that’s not a place anyone other than a coke-head, masturbating weirdo wants to lounge in. Upon my return, Mr. Godfreak asked me point blank if he could share his testimony with me.
“But you shared yours.”
“No, I told you some stories. You listened.”
“No. We’re two people on a plane. I’m done.”
“Okay, I can respect that. I’ll let you get back to your book.”
You’ll let me get back to my book? You mean the book I brought on three hours ago to relish and delve into as an escape from this world and assholes like you? You don’t let me do shit. And you sure as hell don’t know me enough to love me. (Something they all offer you in their magnanimous love of all people, enemies and sinners.) I don’t want or need your pity-love. I’m pretty damned lovable. You sir, are a crashing bore who seriously has no interest in who I am or what I have to say. I mistakenly thought you would take my social cue when I told you I am not a believer in god, and I sure as fuck don’t believe I have to behave a certain way in this lifetime to insure a better one later.
“But how do you know how to be a good person?”
“Ummm…because I am a decent human being with a conscience, empathy, and the ability to understand I would like people to treat me as I would treat them.”
“But why are humans the only, yada yada yada…”
“Elephants are actually very family oriented and caring animals who take care of those who are struggling. And I’m pretty goddamn sure they aren’t doing it to get better mud puddles in some scientifically impossible afterlife.”
I don’t even want to waste time here reliving the absurdity of having any kind of philosophical discussion with a god freak. I got sucked in and am now punishing myself for letting this asshole take up my time. My ALONE time. My FAVORITE time.
At the prime old age of 60, I finally had the confidence to say no to a complete stranger and stop a fruitless conversation I never should have engaged in in the first place. WHEN. WILL. I. LEARN?
I’ll tell you when. NOW. I will never, EVER allow someone to hijack my personal space and time again for something that does not interest, entertain, or better me.
When I told this fucker, “Why don’t you tell him your testimony?” nodding towards the man peacefully resting at the window seat, he responded, “Oh, he’s listening to music.”
Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? You can respect his space, but because I finally tell you to get out of mine, you are surprised and accuse me of having shared mine so I owe you.
I can write an entire chapter on the number of people who have tried to convert me and who have offered their love and prayers in that arrogant, insulting, pompous form of all-knowing self-righteousness that will continue to work in my honor despite my rejection of their choice.
So hear me now all you motherfucking witnesses for God and Jesus. I am now a reborn person of power and self-confidence who will no longer sit by politely as you waste my fucking life. The life I have only one of and choose to make the most of while I have it. WASTE your own life as much as you wish. I’m sure you have no concerns since the next one will be such an improvement. Gloat from the grave, assholes. But I am happy, full of love for those people who matter, and I refuse to let you into my life along with your almighty savior. I. AM. DONE. Reborn and ready to say, “FUCK OFF AND DIE.” It’s what you’re living for anyway.