Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Sitting on the plane, I took a look around at my companions for the next ten hours… whatever happened on this plane… we'd experience it together.
Under the seat in front of me was the soul of the plane… the black box, here’s where the truth of the trip is recorded. My neighbours next to me saw it as well and to break the ice I winked at the cute blonde and told him that we were sitting in the safe aisle
“They'll be looking for us first!”
Amused he laughed in a typically South African tone that made me feel like I was almost there… come on big birdie… take mamma home!
Due to technical problems, the flight was delayed for an hour… For over three months I've been counting down the days, during the last four days I'd been counting down the hours, and a delay for someone who's counting down the minutes is nothing short than torture…
Although, I can't say that I was stressed or nervous… if I had it my way, I'd make a plane my permanent home… alright, so I guess I'd get sick of it eventually… but while I don't… I'll enjoy the fact that while up in the air I'm free… free from my past and not yet bound to my future… until I reach my destination, I'm whoever and whatever I want to be… just a face in the crowd, someone to sit next to.
Why would anyone want to disappear like that?
I call it the much needed and desired pause in life… up in the air, time stops. I can think without having to, just set my mind and thoughts free with no influence.
I thought myself silly as I explained to myself this concept, but then I saw a trolley with Haagan Dazs and it all made sense.
I'm NEVER flying TAP ever again! Air France has a private TV on each seat allowing me to pick my channel and movie… 20 movies to choose from, each starting every fifteen minutes. Then it has games… Tetris, Soduku, Solitaire and my personal all time favourite: Mahjong. The air hostesses are nice and first class is without a doubt first class... I thought those fold out chairs that turn into a bed was only on American planes for the rich but they really do stretch out into miniature beds!
I'm writing this with the knowledge that I have nothing to say, nothing poetic and nothing worth mentioning. I might not even post this one...
Yet in the darkness of this plane, I feel the need to talk… And as fate would have it… I'm talking to my computer screen!
The couple next to me are in their early sixties and they hold hands every now and again, just to comfort each other, just to let one another know that they're there.
I've always wished someone special would sit next to me, that we'd be flying somewhere together… maybe I'd be taking him to meet some place I once knew, maybe he’ll be taking me to some place I haven't met yet.
I’d have someone’s shoulder to lay my head on, there would be a heavy hand that occasionally rested on my thigh and after some strategic caresses, hopefully he'd be the first to say:
“You keep that up and I won't be held responsible for my actions!”
I'd give him my most innocent look and make him promise to make it up to me at our destination.
Adventure! With someone instead of always facing it alone… Diving with the sharks probably isn't as much fun on your own… Who will witness your experience?
There's but a stranger sitting beside me… and I'm flying solo.
I remind myself of the joy that awaits me when I land… the two men that I love most in the world are picking me up at the airport… and yet, at this precise moment, that knowledge does little to warm my heart.
Deciding the chill I felt was due to the temperature, I fished out my jersey and paid my first visit to the lavatory… I took off my blouse and put on my jersey, pausing only to note that I should’ve gotten more sun this summer, no one was going to believe I came from one of Portugal’s hottest summers… oh well, I guess I'll first right in along with all the other South Africans pale from the winter. Snow White… it's either that or lobster.
Taking a better look into the mirror, it also occurred to me that although the cubicle was rather small… two people could still squeeze in and make for a rather interesting flight.
I laughed at myself as I imagined different positions, all of which would make for an interesting memory in old age. I stopped laughing however when I looked in the mirror and realized that the only person laughing was me... I was alone.
I'm tired… my battery is low and I'm out of inspiration. I have so much to look forward to and yet, if I could, instead of a ten hour flight… I'd make it eternity… after I'm there, time will fly, it will pass and all that there’ll be left for me is my flight back home…
I don't know what or where that is… Resilient, I adapt to almost any nook and cranny and yet if you ask me where I feel most at home, my answer would be: “at the airport, on a plane”… how sad, that what I most seek to build is what constantly eludes my hands.
By saying this I can picture one my colleagues giving me her most serious expression and telling me that when I least expect it, I'll have it all.
I wonder if she tells me these things just to comfort me, but then she looks at me with so much conviction that my heart wills her to be right even when it has given up hope of it being so.
Depressed me? Heavens no… Just thinking about the stuff I constantly tell myself not to think about. Up here I've allowed myself to think about these things…
I've allowed myself to feel fragile, lonely and scared… at least for the remainder of my ten hour flight…
What else am I thinking about?... wouldn't you like to know! I'd tell you about it but I don't believe that my laptop will last past the next five minutes…
Maybe another time… on another flight.