writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

hell is found at the altitude at which the airplanes fly

sitting in coach
packed in tight with fellow passengers
thinking "o, so this must be how factory chickens feel"
only my coop is no nest of feathers and the warmth of fellow life
but the cold caress of metal armrest
the incessant humming droning of the airplane's blowing breathing
and the nipple-hardening chill of the frigid cabin
an unwashed coat of everyman's filth fleece blanket wrapped up to my chin
in an incorrigible-piece-of-crap one-foot-each-way hard metal trap of a seat
in this figure from a Wilbur brother's dream
incapable of reclining sliding jumping kicking screaming sleeping eating pissing whining crying
with the complacent glossy eyes of the latest magazing tabloid starlet peering over my seat
pocket flap to glare at me
(the eyes of Jessica Alba are judging me!)
she's feeling reticent today (o, so she, too, has turned cold)
thoroughly frustrated, i notice soft breathing
my neighbors in this floating suburb have successfully dozed off
(o, that's all i really want)
i turn to the window, dreaming of open fields and mountain valleys
places far away, where i might find adequate leg room and ergonomic back support in my
seating apparata
to my surprise i find instead,
below the window pane (next to the emergency exit sign)
scrawled with an unstable hand,
the product of an equally unstable mind,
with rage and spontaneity bubbling forth from the edges of its calligraphy,
"I HATE this plane."
looking at it, i wonder if perhaps it was me.
though i do not find the writing to be strikingly familiar, it is not altogether strange
and i recognize the sentiment as my own
and i remind myself that desperation fuels creative surprises,
that people do the unexpected when cornered
and when you're trapped in the air
knowing you could be on land (or even, in the sea)
knowing you can't get out (you're trapped!)
your legs and arms and neck and back cramped and aching
your mouth parched from breathing pressurized plane air
and tasting your neighbor's confused perspiring
your nose envious from smelling first class's catered kosher meals
and you, so tired exhausted frustrated (your mind searching for words to suit the feeling...)
travelling cranky and hungry and thirsty and too big for your seat and too fidgety for a plane
with no leg room or walking space or ability to control temperature or lighting or food or time
unable to sleep even tho it's impossible to stay awake, even tho it's the one thing you must do to escape
so you pop a couple dramamine (the extra-drowsy kind)
down it with some iced-down bitter orange juice
take another look at the desperation graffitti,
that ghost of fellow human and companion
and take comfort in shared pain
and force a smile as you brace yourself for landing.


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