The Red Head
By: David Wright
She was a goddess. Light red hair, skin as white as cream and freckles under her eyes. She walked back to my seat which was on the isle. “Are you an American?” She asked. “Yes.” I replied. “May I sit with you?” She asked. “This is boring.” “Of course.” I replied.
It was July of 1985 and I was on a flight out of Tokyo for Manila. I hadn’t taken leave in two years and had been rode hard and put away wet. I needed a break and the Commodore gave it to me. Manila was the place to go and the Manila Hotel was the place to stay.
She worked for Pan Am in New York and was on her annual fly anywhere in the world for free vacation. I don’t think there were 75 people on that 747. We drank and talked having a good time. She suddenly looked at me and asked; “are you a member of the “mile high club?” I panicked. “What the Hell is the “mile high club?” I thought to myself. I’m a sailor. I’ve steamed from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast of Africa. Am I supposed to know what the fucking “mile high club” is?
“I don’t know what that is.” I replied weakly. She looked at me like; “I’ve got a real live wire here.” “It’s when you go to the toilet at 30,000FT. and have sex.” She replied. She was kind. I wanted to die.
I think the stewardess’ knew what was going on from the smirks on their faces. We went back to the toilet twice.
She was the adventurous type. No hotel, no reservations for anything, just wing it. I kind of liked that. I told her she should stay with me. I had reservations at the Manila Hotel, I knew Manila very well. I knew where to go and where not to go, what to say and what not to say. She would be safe with me. She accepted.
Funny, as gentle as she was she wanted to watch a cock fight. I took her to one. Bought spurs for both of us as souvenirs. Still have mine, oil it down once in a while so it doesn’t rust. Sharp as a razor. I’m sure she still has her’s where ever she is. We spent a glorious week together. When it was over, it was over. She went back to New York and married her boyfriend. She was 24 and I was 34.
After all the time spent in Westpac and the shock of being stationed in South Texas, David Wright transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1993 after 25 years of service. He calls Corpus Christi home. Is employed with the NAS Fire Department as the fire extinguisher/fire suppression systems servicer. He spends much of his off time reloading and shooting with his young son and sitting at the mall looking at young girls.