Airplane ramble

Categories: Ramblings
Comments: No Comments
Published on: February 6, 2004

Sat at the back of the plane like ballast preventing the wealth heavy nose tipping down and the whole vehicle hurtling back into the real world. Shoes off, feet swelling, dotted around a half empty cabin. Picking at the calf length panic tights rescuing us from the risk of deep vein thrombosis. Peeling off a toilet seat cover from the dispenser, trying carefully to separate its tongue from the roof of its mouth so it can be dipped into the bowl. The join goes to the front if you are a man so that your bare glans cannot come into contact with the matte surface below. I am going to do a poo in this loo. Standing over the toilet, waiting that perceivable moment between pressing the flush switch and the sucking which might just provide the delight of watching the seat cover whipped off and down the hole. Wiping out the sink with your paper towel as a courtesy to the next passenger. Staring in the mirror at the gaping pores, pustules swollen from dehydration and the drying air, then illuminated by the close fluorescent bulb. The screens in the back of the chair in front, thin options for you entertainment, drilling into the mind of the person on front, or find out where you are as if it mattered. You weren’t really anywhere as 90,000 pounds of thrust propels you over the surface of the stratosphere. The air beneath the wings as solid as anything else that has ever held you steady, pillars of air all the way to the ground, yet at the bottom hardly feeling the tall strain. Reading lights left absent mindedly on here and there. Trying to get comfortable, whether tilted back all of twenty degrees, or trying to lie prone across three empty seats, folded armrests pushing your widest parts out over the edge of the seat, teetering over a one foot drop, while 35,000 feet above the ground. All the atoms that cling together to form your body, accelerated to almost five hundred miles per hour. Killing ten hours to travel half way around the shrinking world. It’s all so mundane, yet the whole thing teeters on chaos and disaster, we are reminded as we pass through x-rays, searches, questioning, being shown the exits, reminded to keep your seat-belt fastened at all times in case of cataclysmic turbulence. Except you end up exploring the hidden cupboards in the toilets.. The ashtray next to the no-smoking sign. The redundant old-fashioned razor blade disposal slot and cups dispensed for the non-potable water. Back to the seats. Return to seat light is on in the loos. Fasten seat belt. How many people are thinking about how to hijack the plane? How many are thinking about how they would stop it? Even to whisper about either thought is to be bound with plastic ties and stiff interrogation on arrival. Better to sing into a movie, or comedy show, so much funnier at in the thin funny air, cleaned and recycled. Constant noise. Hums and blowing. What does it sound like outside? The wing gleams like a smooth computer graphic effect outside the window, partly unreal. Too much sensation and choice inside to focus for more than a few seconds outside. What is it like up front in first class, after they close curtains sealing off the big chairs, and the big wigs/knobs from the rest of us? Are we right to feel jealous, or is it just nylon free nylon socks we miss out on back here at the ballast? I’ve missed the boat from the fact of my age, and the age we live in, from being show the inside of the flight deck and introduced to the captain to my delight. I’d like to say the plane is coming into land now, tray tables and foot rests must be returned to the upright position. But there are still hours left of the flight. I am just getting too lulled to write on the plane…

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