I have written before about my mother, Nurse Meme, and her fear of heights in “The Invasion”. She because of her fear of heights also had an aversion to flying. She loathed it. She would try not to stress over it and just get on the plane sitting as far from the window as possible and immerse herself in other thoughts. She was very brave and very determined and this often did the trick.
She avoided transportation via the air whenever possible; unfortunately the speed and convenience often sucked her into its vapor trail. My story is about one such event.
Nurse Meme booked her trip, scheduled her continuing education class and packed her suitcase. She gave her parrot an extra ration of Fritos, kissed Trooper Bob goodbye and made her way to the airport. She boarded the American Airlines jet which would wing its way to her destination. She had reserved her usual aisle seat, retrieved her study material and started to focus. The engines whirred and they were rolling down the tarmac when she noticed the young girl in the middle seat was a bit fidgety. Nurse Meme, being the caring person she was, put down her papers and took a long hard look at her seat mate.
She asked the young woman “are you alright?” The woman looked at Nurse Meme through crazed eyes and squeaked out “I don’t think so.” Then she started screaming and trying to get out of her seatbelt. Nurse Meme grabbed the woman and in a calm but firm tone asked “what is the problem? Stop screeching”. The woman grabbed Meme’s arm in a vice like grip and said “I need a fix. I thought I could get through the flight but I can’t. I’m dying here.” The she broke free from Meme and her seatbelt and tried to bolt.
The woman had made such a spectacle that other passengers were beginning to get uneasy. The flight attendant made an announcement for everyone to remain seated until the seatbelt light was extinguished. The crazed addict had caused such a commotion that Nurse Meme was afraid the plane would be grounded and she would have to start all over again calming herself down.
Nurse Meme had been through enough emergencies and had dealt with enough drug addicts in her life that she handled the situation in a calm and professional manner. She grabbed the girl by the collar from behind and yanked her back into her seat. Then my 100 pound mother held the writhing screaming druggie in her seat and said “okay, I’m a nurse. What are you taking?” The girl looked at my mother wild eyed and panicked and said “nothing right now you twit! Why do you think I’m like this?” Now I’m here to tell you from experience Nurse Meme did not like being called names much less being called a twit from a heroine addict. That’s when she went into full Meme action she pushed harder against the girl’s chest and leaned over and through clinched teeth said “you sit your ass right here and you shut your mouth. I will get something to calm you down but if you get up or scream one more damned time I’ll break your legs. Do you understand me?” The girl looked at Nurse Meme eyes wide and mouth open in the beginning of a scream. She thought better of it closed her mouth and nodded her head in agreement.
Nurse Meme went into action. She grabbed the flight attendant and apprised her of the problem. A few minutes later the flight attendant came on the loud speaker and announced that there was a medical emergency and was there a physician on board. When no one responded she once again made an announcement and asked if anyone had any type of tranquilizer or sleeping medication. With this question almost every hand in the plane went up. The plane was off the ground and now in flight. The ‘fasten your seatbelt sign’ had blinked off and Nurse Meme got up and collected what she felt would do the trick. She thanked her fellow passengers then went to administer what she would hope was the dose to calm down the crazed and jonsing addict.
Three Percocet and two Darvocet later the addict was peacefully sleeping drooling on Nurse Meme’s shoulder. Several people passed the two as the flight progressed from South to North. Each one reaching over and thanking Nurse Meme for her quick and stern action and each one offering up another medication which might make the girl remain asleep until they reached their final destination.
June Gardens' Day Off
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