The Flight Attendants

The Flight Attendants do not leave the ground. Their feet are firmly planted. On the sidewalks. On the playground. Where the moms stand. On the grass of the backyard at the neighborhood picnic. Their purses are full of snack-size almond packets and power bars and their teenagers’ new favorite organic artisanal jerky made of buffalo that cost $5 a pop. They consider asking for a beverage cart for Christmas because wouldn’t it just be easier to bring everyone what they wanted all at once during family movie nights instead of running back and forth to the kitchen and barely seeing more than the credits? Everyone in the family flies first class.

The Flight Attendants do not need suitcases for themselves but they know how to pack. They will send their kids to camp. They will send their kids to college. They will send their husbands on business trips. They will bring the suitcases up from the basement and down from the closets. They will suction out the air of their clothes and seal up the packing cubes they buy at Bed Bath & Beyond. They will zip lock vitamins and shampoos and special creams. They will roll clothes so they don’t wrinkle and then tuck in a small travel steamer, just in case. They will pick up prescriptions and schedule haircuts and get the dry cleaning. They will print and e-mail itineraries with other people’s names. They will coordinate arrivals and rides and hotel rooms and make dinner reservations at the places that are “a must.” They will FedEx forgotten work files and a sports cap and say, “I’m so sorry, it wasn’t in there!” and mean it.

The will attend to and cater to.

They will do train and airport drop-offs. But not the bus station. No one ever takes the bus. Not even the kids. Not even the dog.

The Flight Attendants will keep up their appearance and dress in uniform—tailored jeans and sweater sets in neutral colors. A subtle piece of jewelry like an Elsa Peretti silver heart to offset the expensive wedding ring. They are well groomed even when it means getting up at 5:15am to wash their hair and put on lipstick before breakfast and school runs. They will look good. They will act nice.

They will smile and say, “Welcome aboard!”


Anna MantzarisAnna Mantzaris lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in publications including Ambit, The Cortland Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, New World Writing and Sonora Review.