They spilled wine on her 20 minutes into the flight. She spent the next five hours, from Boston to Burbank, trying to get crimson streaks out of her white linen blouse with a can of soda water and cocktail napkins.
She feared this is how it would happen. That upon stepping out of her first flight in 20 years she would look a disheveled shell of her former self. That when her daughter saw her, she would look every day as old as her 78 years made her.
Yes, Catherine would feel guilty that her mom looked like a homeless person. It would probably be this way instead of how it was, that she had tried to have alcohol before 9 a.m. and been thwarted by an errant elbow to the head.