May 1, 2009

Pass Me by World, My Nose is to the Window

The other day I rode on a jet plane again. I’d forgotten what a spectacular experience it is; soaring high above twin-engine Cessna planes… gliding atmospherically in a manner that was way, way above my allotted privileges as a two-legged wingless mammal.

Glancing around me at the dignity-starved individuals surging towards a doorway too small for the mass of shoving and selfishness that abounded, I couldn’t help but rudely marvel to myself.
“Huh. That little teeny, tiny plane out there is going to get him (large guy), him (another pretty hefty fella) and HERRRR? (uh…) up in the air?
What science plus technology and a few rubber wheels can do these days.

Then my mind jolted back to reality. Ah yes, it was time for me to go to my seat.
Priority seating?
I strode casually past throngs of mobbing pulses and jumped in front, flashing an i.d. and proof that my random, entirely accidental superiority complex of priority could in fact take a physical form.
“Thank you sir, enjoy your flight!”
Oh, I would.
Four ay, bay bay!

My bag barely fit in the overhead compartment.
No, wait! If I turn it this way and shove with all my might, it might just…

Oh, those moments we feel alive.
“Sir, I don’t think it will fit. Would you like me to take it to the back?”
There was no condescension in her voice. Not just a little bit that made me feel like a million yen.
“Sure, that’d be great thanks!”
Feigning obliviousness to the possibility of appearing like a moron, I handed her the blue road-runner bag.
“No problem.”

Fifteen minutes later our wheels lifted off the ground, the world became obtusely angled for a few moments, and we shot into the air.
Subconsciously I did my part as a good passenger and lifted my seat-end off my seat, hoping that we’d at least be light enough to not crash immediately.
By some miracle of consistent laws, lots of oxygen and nitrogen and extensive money/engineering, we made it alive into the air.
A two hour and forty-five minute flight.
My seat-end sighed as we leveled out, and I scooched and squiggled, reaching that point where I was deceived into thinking I was relaxed when in fact my knees were driving the person the next seat through three rows into the cockpit.

The squirrelly guy sitting next to me glanced at me once…twice…three times, then ILLEGALLY put his headphones in, and took out a Stephen King novel.
What if we crashed, killing several dozen people because of his stupid Stephen King headphone antics?
This guy was totally and irrevocably out.
Out of my universe.
See ya bud.

“Can I get you a beverage?”
“What’s a beverage?”
This lady was smart enough to ignore me.
“We have Coke, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, V8…” Her voice trailed off and she stared at me like there was a mole growing on my cornea.
“I’ll have orange juice…please.”
I slid down a nanometer in my chair, and like a foot and a half on the inside, reaching the appropriate internal height of the four-foot eight I was acting like.
“Here you go Sweetie!”
Her energy was infectious. I was back.
“Thank you ma’am. Could I have a third bag of pretzels?”
She didn’t miss a beat, even though no drum was in sight.
She wheeled her cart an inch and a quarter, and out of my universe entirely.
“Sir, can I get you anything?”
Entirely out of my universe, she was asking the gentleman behind me what he would like.

My forehead spent the next hour and thirty minutes pressed against the plastic window as Texas, Arizona then Nevada slid by silently down below.

Ah, it felt good to ride in a plane again.
There’s nothing like seeing seamlessly perfect circular and square fields of whatever far down below.
What ARE those things anyway?
They’re so puzzling when you’re in the air; you literally hurt your head trying to figure out how they’re so exact and who keeps them up, but when you get back on the ground you never think about them, or if you do you can’t find them.

They’re SO out of my universe now.

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