Blazing lights burned through the night and screaming engines deafened earthly creatures for miles around. Calvin pulled his old Ford over to the rest stop and overlook to watch. It was his habit, every night, after his EMT shift, to gaze at the planes landing at LAX. There, he sipped on a cold beer and dreamed. He usually managed to park behind a row of scrub brush; that is unless young lovers had already claimed the space.
Calvin leaned back in his seat and turned up the radio. Someone banging on his window interrupted the lonesome twang of an electric guitar. Calvin jumped in his seat. “What the.” His sentence was cut short by a bright flashlight pointed at his nose.
“Git outta da car.” A voice, seemingly behind the light ordered.
Police harassment. “I ain’t done nuthin.”
“Git outta da car.” The voice repeated.
“All right, all right, keep yer shirt on, I’m comin’.” Calvin tossed the empty beer can into the backseat and opened his door. Two more bright headlights greeted him once he cleared his own door.
An arm reached out and pushed Calvin toward the lights. “Git in da back seat.”
“Hey, I gotta license and registration, I’m just watch’n planes.” Calvin walked to the back-side of the car and opened the door.
The arm pushed Calvin into the car and he fell face first, skinning his shins.
“Hey, take it easy,” he yelled as he fell into the car, except his fall continued and he tumbled for what seemed several minutes. When he looked up he was laying on his stomach in the aisle of divided rows of seats.
“Sir, sir, are you okay?” A kind sounding voice came from above Calvin. “Did you trip?”
“Un, I’m okay, where am I?” Calvin rolled over and sat up.
“Oh, you musta got a knock on the head, don’t you remember, this is Flight 601 to Los Angeles from Phoenix. Let me help you to your seat.”
The voice belonged to a young lady in a fight attendant uniform. Calvin accepted her help as she guided him into a passenger seat.
“Can I get you a soda?” Or Anything?”
“Got any beer?”
“Oh, you guys, you know we can’t serve alcohol on these short flights, but I would be happy to get you a juice or something.”
Calvin thought about. “Naw, I’ll be alright.” He leaned back in the seat. “Wow, this is nice.” I don’t know why or how, must be a dream.
The flight attendant walked down the aisle chatting with passengers. When she got to Calvin, she patted him on the shoulder. “Glad you’re okay, I was worried.”
“Thanks,” said Calvin. He wasn’t a bad looking man, sorta average. He had a low paying job, so he didn’t get out too much, and the all the guys at the rescue squad were married, so other than second shift dinner at a local franchise Calvin really had little social life.
“What do you do young man? Are you a stunt man or a circus performer?” An elderly lady tapped his arm.
“No, ma’am, just an EMT on a rescue squad.” Calvin noticed a curious smile on the older woman.
“Oh, that’s nice. My late husband had a scanner and listened to all those calls, it must be exciting.”
Calvin turned to the woman. “I suppose. Mostly, we treat and transport from car wrecks.”
“Oh, that’s important work.” Her eyes twinkled.
“Ma’am, are you going to L.A. to visit family?”
“No, I just came along to meet you.”
A chill went up Calvin’s spine. “You came on this flight to meet me?”
“Why yes, you delivered my child by the roadside, you held the hand of my husband when he left to meet the Lord. You pulled my son from a burning wreck, and you carried food and blankets to my family after the earthquake. You walked into a bank during a hold up to save an epileptic, you pulled my cat from my burning house.”
“Ma’am, I’m not sure I understand. Have we met?”
The woman turned and laughed.
Moments later the airplane landed at LAX and Calvin departed with the passengers. He gave a cabby his last fifty dollars to drive him up to the overlook. Sure enough, his car was still there. Calvin shook his head. “I suppose someday, I’ll understand.”
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