On Final: The Quest

On Final: The Quest

You may recall from a previous installment that I had to part company with my own, very personal jet. I am recovering, but slowly. My friend Larry King kindly offered to lease me his beautiful Citation M2, which I immediately accepted. That plan has worked pretty well.

But I still have this irrational yearning to fly my own airplane.

“It makes no sense,” said Patty. “Larry is really nice to you, and we have no monthly costs.”

“But Larry is really tall,” I countered. “I have to adjust the rudder pedals and the seat every time I use the plane.”

“That’s nonsense,” she retorted. “You only have to pay for it when you use it.”

I paused, trying to come up with a logical response. “We can’t just fly somewhere at the drop of a hat,” I reminded her. “Do you remember the two times we had to DRIVE to Colorado?”

“First, you don’t even wear a hat,” she said. “Plus, the drive was kind of fun, at least for the first 12 hours.”

I saw an opening.

“And we wouldn’t dare cram our all white, constantly shedding dog Peaches into Larry’s solid black interior.” Score two points for me.

“You’re still not making much sense,” she said.

“Sweetheart, the bottom line is, I just don’t share well with others.”

To that one, Patty agreed. “You need some counseling,” she said.

And so, she called a bunch of her psychiatrist and psychologist female friends. A Greyhound bus full of them gathered on my front porch on a crisp fall morning. Patty let them in the house.

I was in my bathroom reading the latest issue of Twin and Turbine.

“Honey, I want you to meet some really nice people,” she said softly.

I peered around the corner. It looked like a Democratic fundraiser.

“Don’t be afraid, they want to help you.”

It was kind of like an aeronautical intervention. Similar to an oral exam for a type rating but with less humiliation.

After a grueling eight hours, progress was made. Twelve of them retired from the profession, nine prescribed heavy sedation, and the rest told me my aviation illness stemmed from relationship issues with my mother during infancy.

But I had survived.

Waving to the bus as it departed our neighborhood, I heard a sound overhead. A turboprop and a jet crossed paths in the deep blue sky, both singing sweet music to my ears. I just have to own another airplane, I mumbled quietly to myself.

And so, the quest begins.

Fly safe.

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