Inspired by a gentleman on a flight from London to Los Angeles, a red corvette, and summer love in Malibu.
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Author: JPS 13/04/2020
In Sept 2017, I boarded a flight to Los Angeles. It was a full flight, and as the first to arrive to my row, I quickly settled in. I lathered a cocktail of skin products on my face, and it was time to zone out.
I pride myself in being able to sleep entire flights utterly undisturbed by the commotion around me. As we began to take off, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Removing my eye mask, I was obviously confused as to why someone would be disturbing when I was clearly unavailable.
Seated next to me was a gentleman who appeared to be his 70's. He had a thick head of box dyed black hair, and his wrinkles were so buried I couldn't tell if he was smiling or frowning.
"Excuse me miss, I'm awfully sorry to disturb you, but you've made a rookie move, you left your passport on my seat."
"Oh, I see, a rookie move indeed," I said with a smile.
Typically I would have thanked him and went back to sleep, but he had kind eyes. A life well-lived, type of eyes, and I could tell he would be interesting.
We exchanged travel itineraries and it quickly detoured ( glass of wine or two later) to music. What was I was listening to, the gentleman was interested. So I shared my Billy Holiday and soulful, earthy sounds of the '20s. He was impressed. Didn't think kids appreciated the music of the past. I told him music takes me on a ride; I transport myself to that particular place where the song and stories exist.
"If you want to be transported by music, I'll tell you a story."
It begins in Argentina, Buenos Aires, to be exact. He was 18 and his parents originally from Colorado were sending him to the University of California. An American boy with a slightly Argentinean accent, he arrived in California to a hippie subculture. He traded in his sports coats for fringed cowboy jackets. The newfound freedom and lack of structure was only outmatched, by the brand new red corvette he received as a gift from his parents.
Then he met her. A tempting beauty with long blonde hair sunbathing at Zuma Beach, his "Crimson and Clover". She spoke to him like old friends from a past life. He invited her for a ride, then she was perched in the passenger seat of his red corvette for the duration of the summer. He had never met anyone like her, so impossible yet so compelling. All the love songs made sense, "You've made me so very happy", he would insist.
Dinner was served on the flight, and the conversation was on hold. Then, he fell asleep. I couldn't believe it, there I was wide awake desperately needing to know what happened next. Where is the blonde? What happened to the corvette? Will he give me more songs to look up after? I stared in his direction hoping to telepathically wake him, sadly I didn't.
As we landed in Los Angeles, He finally woke up. We began to prepare our things and exit the aircraft.
I tapped his shoulder.
"I'm sorry, sir, but I feel we never finished that story. You've left me on the edge of my seat. What happened with the girl, I need to know?"
He smiled with those kind eyes.
"I'll be sure to let the tempting beauty know when she picks me up from the airport."
Here is a playlist I created on Spotify, inspired by Dennis and his tempting beauty.
Have any songs you think should be on it?, let me know.
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