Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flight.



Suitcases lugged and wheeled by nervous travelers. A tall Asian man aggressively teases his wife for having trouble finding the bathroom. His kids stand by silently, shifting over their feet, their backpacks swinging slightly along with their weight. Scott and I kid and joke, relaxed as pilots. A small, stout airport attendant bellows for the next person in line please. Thank you. We say, approaching the terminal computer to check our suitcase.

Once our bag is checked. We walk toward Terminal 35, stopping at a food court for coffee and breakfast. I slurp a mocha buzz peanut butter -I'm on vacation- kind of breakfast smoothy. Delicious. Scott sips his coffee with 'poison' (as he has taken to calling artificial sweeteners such a Sweet n'Low and Splenda, for he knows how I feel about them) and mouths his egg and sausage wrap. Afterward, at the terminal, we sit discussing the resort we are headed to in Puerto Rico.

Clouds surround Boston buildings as Scott's father, Steve, drives us to Logan Airport. He and Scott discuss the automated windsheild wipers that are flipping rain water from the glass, while I sit in the back seat. Our flight had been delayed a half hour due to this weather. Can waiting just thirty minutes drastically make our flight that much more safe? I don't mind waiting longer.

I climb onto the plane and smile to the red lipsticked mouth of the middle aged flight attendant. Next to the airplane window, I sit, seat buckled, looking out through wet glass to men in florescent yellow rain suits with orange glowing sticks. Why are we flying in rainy weather? If the pilot cannot see the horizon, how will he fly us to an island off South America? I don't like flying. The moment the plane's wheels drive to our designated runway, I decide I do not like flying. Is the other wing shaking at every bump too? I've seen too many Hollywood plane crashes, explosions, catastrophes to ever really feel completely all right with flight. I am not a bird, therefore flying is not natural. Yet imagine if planes did work like gigantic birds with flopping feathered wings and narrowly pointed beaks with rubbery bony feet to land instead of like amusement park rides that offer snacks, cans of soda and, if you're lucky, a movie. Do they ever clean these headrests? Oh Lord, the engines are beginning to blow to their fullest deafening take off mode. This happens hundreds of times in hundreds of airports every day across the world. I hope our pilots have eaten their Wheaties and slept better than I did last night. And take off! Up and up and up. Now we are above the dark gray clouds and the sun greets us, glowing warm light onto the foamy white clouds that are now below us. I lean my Vitamin D deprived cheek to the window and feel the warmth. Woah. Flight. There is nothing, no ties attaching us to the ground and its gravity. This is really happening. Not the movies. We are not in a studio. This is not a green screened sky nor is there is crane carrying us to the Caribbean. Several motors, wings, metal and plastic skin flies me, Scott, several strangers and all of our luggage miles and miles away from Boston, Massachusetts.

Yes, I'll have an orange juice please.

As I sip my citrus, I read a book to distract myself from the fear of my present reality thousands of feet above the Atlantic Ocean.