“Happy Holidays”

flying santaThis is re-posted from last year.  Not to be boring, but I find that the topic will keep cropping up…

I bought my Christmas tie at Hong Kong’s Stanley Market ages ago for like two dollars, and have worn it to work (in strict accordance with my company’s uniform guidelines, I might add, cuz that’s how I roll) for the whole month of December pretty much ever since. We celebrate Christmas, but I am not a Christian, and my tie, as befits a Christmas tie from China, is very generic; no Jesus, no Santa, just a bunch of snowmen and gold star-topped trees. Mostly I wear a holiday tie because it is my one and only opportunity to vary the uniform that I wear every day. The very same uniform, come to that, that, at my broke-ass company, I’ve been wearing for my entire career. Lots of pilots wear them, too, and it’s fun, for two or three weeks, to start pre-flight briefings with a compliment, even one as bland as “Nice tie.”

When a passenger tells me, “Nice tie,” I used to say “Thank you. Merry Christmas,” figuring that if you were going to take the time to comment on my Christmas tie, then you were probably someone who celebrates Christmas, too. But lately, the Nice Ties have been delivered more and more with a certain sly tone that implies a knowing wink, and I have dropped the M.C., sticking with a bland and pleasant “Thank you.” While I hope the tie is able to impart a small amount of General Cheer on flights at a time of year when travel can be high-stress and hassle-full, I do not wish to be implicated in anyone’s personal, FOX-fueled war on the phrase Happy Holidays. Continue reading

Them Jeans

My forthcoming novel, Kiss Me, Straight, is the story of a gay flight attendant in San Francisco chasing romance with a straight guy all around the world.  It is not my autobiography, but they do say to Write What You Know.  There are a few scenes in the book that are ripped from the pages of my journal, but the main character, his friends, and their mad adventures are all, of course, figments of my imagination. 

So, while my novel is not about me or my life, I do sometimes use fiction to capture a particular travel experience.  I am, after all, a Gemini, and we don’t especially like to be bound by narrow interpretations of “facts” when we tell stories.  What follows is a snapshot of an afternoon passed on my last international trip before I transferred to Denver.  It was originally published on a tiny and now-extinct Gay Flash Fiction site. (photo credit: me)

You know you’re in Asia when an overfed brown-haired white guy in a pair of jeans stands out in a lunchtime crowd.  OK, I can admit to having a slight tendency towards overfed brown-haired white guys in jeans, but they’re hardly rare and exotic on the streets of any English-speaking country.  And not just the U.S., despite our reputation.  (Yes, Australia, I’m talking to you.)

Continue reading