I didn’t usually fly first-class, but, since this was such a long flight, I couldn’t resist treating myself. Just this once, I thought. I studied the handsome-uptight-Polo-shirt guy, who was seated across the aisle from the fat-balding guy, who shared the row with the blue-headphones-gray-haired guy, and, one row ahead of me, the young-loud-cool-dude-on-his-cell-phone guy was ignoring all of us, before he finally yelled goodbye. Two rows behind me and on the right, an I’m-a-big-fan guy was shaking hands and introducing himself to the too-tall-too-tan-too-blond-and-not-getting-any-younger, ex-Laker guy. I was starting a crossword puzzle in the back of the in-flight magazine and enjoying the steady murmur of people talking and bags scraping, feet clumping, compartment doors slamming, the beautiful noise of the regular, the everyday sounds of people taking care of business and buckling down for the long flight ahead. The sun warmed my skin. Below the window, the baggage guys were tossing suitcases and golf bags onto a ramp. So much for the handling with care. Did the greasy-haired-smelling-like-stale-wine guy next to me, whom I was trying to ignore, really raise his head from his paperback and randomly shout, “Aaahh, the chatter of the common folk?” The line in the aisle stopped moving, heads turned my way and I raised my magazine in front of my face, scrunching down into my seat. I’m not with him, I’m not with him, I thought helplessly, amid the glares and head-shaking. Four and a half hours was going to take forever.