For that Flight Attendant, from the boy with a dead Gameboy

This story takes place sometime in the early 90’s, when the internet was still associated with that horrible dial-up sound and when comic books were still considered socially taboo. My family and I were sitting near our designated terminal somewhere inside of the San Francisco International Airport.

It must’ve been between four and five hours before the plane pulled in from the runway and they called our flight. The concept of time fell upon deaf ears for two kids so young with little patience. The batteries of my teal Gameboy Color had long run out before the plane even appeared in the large frame of the window, and my mother withheld the spares knowing that those would have been wasted, even before I was able to beat Ganon or catch Mewtwo.

One of the flight attendants, a lady that I whose name I can't remember, but looked like she was in her mid-twenties, guided us to our seats and sat me down at the window. I was shaking nervously at the thought of no longer being on the ground and would later realize as an adult that the window is the worst seat to have on the plane. She must’ve noticed the shy kid pressing buttons on a dead screen Gameboy and eagerly waiting for the sound of the famed food cart that my older brother talked about. The chime of the plane instructed everyone to look towards her and follow the safety instructions.

When she got to the part about the seat belt, I was worried that I would fall out of the plane like I had seen in films and Saturday morning cartoons I watched in the living room back home, which is where I wanted to be now. The sound of her voice went from dull instructor to lively reassurance with some haste during the safety lessons which most had heard for years. But then she slowed down and looked in my direction with gentle blue eyes that matched the tone of her voice to emphasize that the inflight movies would be Lion King and The Mighty Ducks.

After the presentation, she disappeared in the higher class part of the plane towards the cockpit. Back then I didn’t know there was a difference in seating arrangements, and it took around 20 minutes for her to return. She looked like Santa, or the Easter Bunny to be more appropriate for the time of year, but respectfully she was a folkloric hero carrying a small tote bag of gifts and gracefully stopping at my aisle. She introduced herself as the plane started to move.

“Hello there, the first time can be scary, but I brought friends for you and your brother,” she said.

From her white tote bag with a Qantas logo printed on it, she freed a koala bear and a kangaroo plush backpack that had coloring books and snacks inside. To her lack of surprise, I quickly chose the kangaroo and smiled with the buckteeth I often tried to hide and which she now complimented.

My brother and I tore through the chocolates as if they wasn’t even there and threw our Ninja Turtle toys inside. Mine fit perfectly into the pouch of the brown plush kangaroo with light brown marble eyes and a nose that came out a little bit. When the plane took off, when she came back to give us drinks, and when we landed, she continued to smile, and her kindness was a relief to me.

To that flight attendant, to all flight attendants, thank you, and I still have that backpack.



Scott Knoll is a California-based artist and writer currently attending Fresno State University majoring in English (Creative Writing). He primarily writes lyrical poetry, nonfiction, and short stories inspired by anime, video games, and 90's cartoons. He is currently a host on the growing podcast channel Mixtape Monologues and working on a graphic novel, a fantasy novel, and collaborating on scripts for short films.

Categories: Airplanes, Trips

Latest Stories
Checking In/Checking Out

Filter by Category

Everyone has a story to tell...

Submit Yours Here

Points of Departure: