Me Flying Super First Class with Ray Liotta

Hi! Sorry. A little warning: I drank a big bottle of Evian before I went through security. I finished the whole thing so they wouldn't make me throw it away and waste it. Also, I have this other bottle I got after I went through security, because I tend to get dehydrated on the plane. So I need to apologize in advance because I may have to get up a few times in the next five and a half hours. I can step over you if you're sleeping. I'm flexible and have pretty decent balance.

That's sweet! But I prefer the window because I like to lean on it even though it gets cold. Also, I may be claustrophobic, though I think what I have is different from claustrophobia. It's like, you're from Jersey, so have you ever been on an Amtrak or New Jersey Transit train leaving Penn Station and it takes so long to get out of the tunnel and you feel like you're all being buried alive and you'll never get out into the light? Maybe it's a birth canal memory?

But let me just get it out of the way that I love you in Field of Dreams, but I haven't seen you in anything else because I can't handle the violence. Isn't there a scene where a guy gets buried alive in an open grave? Casino, right? You weren't in that one? I'm Nora, by the way. Sorry, my hands are always cold like this. But wow, yours are warm. And huge! Ok, I'll leave you to your paper. They're gonna bring out those individual entertainment sets soon, right? I feel so conflicted because I'd never be able to fly super first class if my father didn't use his miles to get me in here. Yes, I'd love to help you understand my conflict! Does it help if you picture a blend of giddiness and guilt swirling in my breast?

Thank you, Mandy! She's so lovely. And these moist hot towels are so decadent. Didn't they used to do them lemon-scented? I've noticed before that the flight attendants in first class are obsequious and playful, but I'm not sure I've noticed it to such an extreme before. It's like Mandy was flirting with me. No, not at all, put your feet wherever you like. That's what these plastic carpeted airplane walls are for. I'm sorry, I have to apologize again. It's hard to stop looking into your eyes. It's like they're piercing my soul and drilling into my darkest secrets.

Oh, Ray, I wish I could tell you some dark secrets. If only I had any. But you have a daughter, right? I'm guessing there's truth to what you say in interviews, about how your on-screen persona goes a long way to protecting her from malevolent guys who come calling. Malevolent is my word. I'm not sure you could call any of the guys I've been involved with malevolent. Self-absorbed. Opportunistic. Vague. Still, I've always yearned for a certain type of masculine protection.

And yet, there's an emotional volatility that comes with that kind of muscular envelopment: a chemical heaviness when you're falling into the arms of a man large and menacing enough to crush you, yet sensitive enough to see the vulnerable little girl inside.

Ok, let me let you get back to your paper. Can I ask why you're going to LA? Good for you! I'm sorry, but it does sound like another movie I wouldn't be able to handle. The party after the screening must be fun, though, right? Me? I'm going to see Ian. We met seven years ago in a scene study class. Really, no, I'm not an actress. I did some staged readings. Webisodes. I shouldn't even have mentioned it. Ian's serious, though. He left New York to do film in LA. He also models. I've never known exactly what he's supposed to be in my life. We love each other, but the sex never feels right. So maybe he's more of a big brother than a boyfriend. Or a father figure? But there's always sexual potential with a guy, right? Maybe it's me? I get looped around men. I feel like I'm constantly intuiting men's needs, and yet my own needs are deeply obscure to me. For instance, I'm sure it's just my imagination, but I'm getting this complex feeling from you like you want to cradle me till I fall asleep, but you're also thinking it'd be fun to go into that bathroom together. Ha!

But seriously, there are a lot of unresolved mother issues and father issues floating around out there. How can you really know what's attracting you to someone? Wow, those eyes again! Listen, I won't need a full bowl of warm nuts. Could we split a bowl when Mandy brings ours over? Yay!

Absolutely, I'll take the filberts. As a father, I'm wondering what you think about that song from Carousel. "The Soliloquy." That moment when Billy Bigelow turns on a dime and goes from being excited about having a son to considering it might be a girl. A blinding tenderness comes into his voice. I asked this opera singer I've been messing around with for about two years to sing it for me, so he did it in falsetto: "My little girl, pink and white as peaches and cream is she," and suddenly I thought I could love him and should see if he'd break up with his girlfriend. But then, I never know if what I'm feeling is real or the product of a manipulation. And I wonder, should you forgive someone for pulling your strings if it's just because they're weak at heart, and your own vulnerabilities are too tempting to resist? Like, if a daughter pulls her father's strings, that's fine, but what if the reverse happens? Oh, I'd love a Lifesaver, thank you! Wintermint is perfect. And Butter Rum! One of each, please.

And speaking of profound vulnerabilities, did you ever read the Charlotte Bronte novel, Villete? I read it back when I had an attention span. I was even in the middle of a break-up when I read it. He was 14 years older than me, but in great shape. Financial guy. Naturally athletic. Vital. But we all have stories where we miss the boat and then wait on the shore forever for another boat. And here's Mandy to tempt us with her warm cookies. I won't have one, but -- definitely -- I'll take it, so you have two. You're big, you need at least two. And your eyes are tiny daggers shooting Oxycontin into me.

Ok, maybe a nibble. Too much sugar and I'm an emotional roller coaster and you could wake up from a nap with me straddling you and holding a gun to your head. Tee hee. But: Villete. I remember sitting on the rug in the vestibule of my apartment reading it. I know where I sat because I remember returning to that spot after I'd gotten off the phone with my then-boyfriend after our third breakup. He'd said, "I love you. And I miss you," and I listened and felt nothing and said, "Ok," and then went back to the vestibule to read.

There's a passage near the beginning. A little girl is sitting on her father's lap. Maybe he's just a father figure. But she's sitting with him, being busy and alert and content. I feel like, if my memory is good, that something disruptive was about to happen to her, but in that moment she was, Bronte wrote, "in a trance of content." He'd given her a little kiss. She'd asked, and he gave it. You're ok going from cookies to wine? I'd love some wine. But I'm already dehydrated. And the sugar. Ok, one glass. You're right, I should relax.