Air Force

“your flight will be two hours late due to delays in Delhi”.  Said the woman at the check in desk at Bangalore airport.  I narrowed my eyes in disgust then she narrowed hers.  I narrowed mine more and she narrowed hers more. I shut my eyes completely, which was completely stupid.

“aisle seat or window” she said. Typical  a trick question  “Aisle sit by the window ” I said. She passed  the tickets and  narrowed her eyes again. “no windows”.  I  narrowed the eyes again and so did she.  We stood like this for some time until I started to fall asleep due to jet lag.  A broken man I walked  through the intimacies of security and onwards to the lounge realising that I had left my cigarettes at the check out desk. 

Pleading with security to allow me back  so’s to  smoke is never dignified. Neither is beating my chest and falling at their feet crying and screaming “why oh why oh why”.eventually I take the shoulder slumped  dejected and pathetic long walk back to my seat. .   This is the wickedness of addiction.    When I smoke I despise the  elittlement  yet the mere thought of denial is enough to send me into spasms. Time passes.

Today’s the seventy fifth birthday celebrations of The  IAF  (Indian Air Force) and as I board the boeing plane two fighter jets tear  through the mid-day sky at the speed of sound.  hielding my eyes from the sun I watch remembering  my time at RAF Cranwell just ten days ago when it was me tearing into the sky.  As the jets circumnavigate the airport for a moment I am inside the cockpit.

The kind driver waited for an extra three hours as I arrived at Delhi airport.  I started to feel a little ill at ease with the service at the Park Hotel in Delhi when naked  and preparing for a bath I found a man stood ramrod straight in my wardrobe “Wardrobe assistant sir. Your towel sir”.  I closed the door  and  entered the bathroom “bathroom attendant sir. Shower or bath?”.  I declined and walked back into my room.  I opened the mini bar a hand extended “waiter sir would you like a drink”. I called down to reception only to hear a knock on the door “ you called sir”.

There’s something wrong with this hotel. The bathroom door opened, the mini bar door opened and room door opened.   “is it us? can we help sir”.  Politeness is the most over rated (or misused)  virtue in culture. ”.  I got the distinct feeling that behind every request to serve me was a sneer and as the veil of politeness something dark  surfaced “what’s one of you doing in one of these hotels being served by one of us”.

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