9:50: Lotta empty seats up here. I bet this is why they don’t let let the coach people use the bathroom in front—everyone would try to illicitly occupy a pod and anarchy would reign.
9:55: Oh, it turns out everyone gets dinner. Oh. No, no that’s good. No everyone should get it.
10:00: One of the flight attendants comes back and hands me a hot towelette. It reminds me of a British Airways flight I took as a kid in the early ‘90s, before flying got crappy. Even in coach, they brought us towelettes, toothbrushes, and free drinks for my parents. I wonder what else has gotten worse since the ‘90s, and the answer is most things.
10:22: Hot nuts and merlot.
10:27: Someone pulls out my tray table for me and drapes a white tablecloth over it. This is when things start to seem excessive, as opposed to just fancy-fun like the Kentucky Derby.
10:34: The first-class bathroom is pretty much the same as the regular one. The only difference is that the faucet has better temperature controls.
Don’t upgrade just for the bathroom, is what I'm saying.
10:36: A flight attendant swings by to ask me if I'd like dessert.
“Ice cream? Mousse cake? Cheese and berries?”
“Hot fudge? Caramel?”
“Whipped cream or nuts?”
It arrives and I scarf a few bites.
The man comes back. With a glimmer in his eye, he points to the uneaten portion and says, “You want to leave a little bit? You don’t want to be guilty?” Sir, I’m well past the guilt phase and into full-blown entitlement.
10:40: All I can think about is how uncomfortable the people behind me are. I wonder if people should be allowed to arm-wrestle or draw straws for the empty seats.
10:41: On second thought, that would probably disturb the peace up here, and I can’t have that now that I’m One of Them. I distract myself by watching all the shows from the channels we don't have at home. (The Knick!)
11:30: I have an empty, plastic iced-tea bottle—a relic of my former life—that I need to throw away. On my way to the trash, I see the flight attendants eating their dinners standing up in the galley by the bathroom. I try to remind myself that Communism was not a perfect system, either.
11:45: I set about learning to operate my chair, which is controlled by a miniature tablet affixed to the right side of my pod. I nearly have my ankles crushed in its unsparing mechanism.
11:53: Guys, I’m laying perfectly flat in the air! As is usually the case, I’m slightly too tall for this to be optimally comfortable. I scrunch up onto my side, pull the airplane-provided eyemask over my face.
I don’t remember the next six hours.
* * *
I wake up with my lips covered in red-wine stains, and with a stiff neck and slight hangover, like I went to a rich-guy frat party and slept on the floor of said frat house. Still, it beats how I feel after a normal red-eye by miles.