The plane ride from San Francisco to Boston usually lasts close to six hours, but for Audrey, a panicky flyer, the flight seems endless. “Only three more hours,” Audrey thinks as she sorts herself beneath the blanket and sinks back into her window seat in an attempt to catch some sleep. But, the Zs fail to settle themselves upon her tired eyes since sitting beside her is Don, a man from LA whose addiction to pistachio nuts grows more apparent as the flight moseys on.
Don had introduced himself to Audrey as soon as he sat down, eagerly putting his hand out for a return deposit of her own. He looked in his early sixties, wearing bifocals that exaggerate his blue-gray eyes, which peer out from beneath a brown toupee that rests itself above his natural graying hair. At first, it appears as if he’ll sleep the whole ride. For three hours he sits with his hands perched atop his belly, head resting on his left shoulder, mouth utters a sleepy purr that sounds in succession with the rise and fall of his stomach. But, Audrey is not so lucky. As soon as she starts to relax into her own sense of sleep, having read her last magazine, he wakes, clearing the remains of sleep from his eyes and pulls a bag of nuts from his carry-on.
With each nut he cracks open and slurps into his mouth, noisily munching it away, then discarding its remains back into the bag from which he plucked it, and sometimes the floor, Don pulls Audrey farther from sleep. Of course he would offer her some if she were to open her eyes, but she remains blinded in hopes of his consumption soon ending.
She can think of nothing else to do but try and sleep. She had been up all night, since she can never sleep the night before a flight. She’d packed, unpacked and repacked her suitcase not knowing what clothes of her Californian wardrobe would accustom themselves to New England.
Finally she presses the call button for a flight attendant and asks for a headset. Don asks her why she wants one now since the movie has already been shown, and hints that it’s a waste of money. Audrey just shrugs and explains that the music helps her sleep. Don nods with a pistachio clad smile, and continues picking.
Audrey grins back as she turns on the top forty channel, submerging herself into a numbing state of being, where no nerves jitter and the cracks of emerging pistachio nuts are drowned out by a sleek guitarist’s emotional groove.
She sits back in her seat, pulling the blanket closer to her chin and thinks about Don’s meeting up with a lover and offering her pistachio kisses.