Wednesday, February 13, 2008

the airplane

i board
one foot at a time
Watch your step!
says the male stewardess
(what do you call those?)

i walk down the aisle
past a man with a shaved head
wearing that new digital camouflage
probably in order to fight that new digital war

i find 34C and sit down
the girl next to me
is too young to be flying alone
but too old for her anyone to stop her
she’s listening to the new noise
on her headphones

i’m issued my adult beverage and pillow
i give them both to the girl
she gulps the drink down while pinching her nose
and goes to sleep

i look at my in-flight magazine
it says
You’ve chosen the safest seat in the plane!
but i’m sure they all say that

i look out the window
down at the patchwork quilt of land
none of the pieces seem to fit together
then i try to read
the reader’s digest version of leviathan
for a while

i walk to the bathroom
but Someone is in there
so i wait in my seat for Someone to finish
i stare at the door
not wanting to miss the clean look of relief
on Someone’s face
but the man with the shaved head comes out
and his face is blank

i sit in the cramped bathroom
my knees pressed against the small door
i don’t have to go
i just wanted to sit in the humming belly of the airplane
and pretend i was back in my mother’s womb
from what i can remember
it was nothing like this

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