“Kad, don’t be ridiculous!” Victoria laughed into the fuming sunlight and Kad laughed louder and I accosted another Bellini and walked back over to my quiet frontal seat to begin skimming through a magazine on military technology. The pictures of the now-four-year-old fighter jets excited some primal appetite for national success. The world is still a jungle, pleaded the subliminal message. The graphical renderings made emphatic approval. All of the machinery under the thirty-five foot wings looked a bit like the collection of ballpoint pens rubber-banded together in my duffle bag. Here, we were told that the weapons bays were being fitted with a new breed of missile which would explode enough anti-insurgent potpourri that the syrupy scent of revenge would blow all the way back to New York. To Armand’s SoHo apartment, possibly. There would be enough rosy, tolling American flags to have him wailing freedom rings, freedom rings, freedom rings until tears beaded-up on that silty grey dust bed of old records. I turned the page to read the spec and clink! An archipelago of Bellini quivered on the table into a single expanding mass as Victoria sat down against my thigh.
“What are you doing?” she tittered.
“Nothing really.” I held the magazine out, bending it stiff under my thumb so that she could see the title without glare.
“A special interest of yours?”
“Well, then think about coming back and playing scrabble with us!” The stitched yellow flowers on her cotton sundress scattered away from one another in the thick cabin window light.
Victoria grabbed the headrest and, together, we got up and walked back to, what was now, a congregation of merry travelers ready to take up any kind of new hobby, as long as it didn’t include venturing further than several Harry’s of London loafer seats away. We were well above the clouds now. Husher was batting a fly away with the rolled-up Harvard Business Review.