I’m flying high over Nashville, Tennessee and we’re all about to die. The thunderstorm rolled in just as I was taking off and as it turns out, I do not like flying through dense clouds filled with lightening. I do not like that even a little bit. And I know, I KNOW that the plane wants to stay in the sky, but does the sky want the plane to stay there? Have we ever asked? Does the sky get a say?
There is a girl on this plane flying for the first time and the man behind her calmed her by telling her that it would probably be a bumpy flight because of the storm. And by calmed I mean he had the opposite effect. On me. A girl to whom he was not speaking.
After the initial ascent through the clouds and once my dramatic sighing had ceased, I realized we are okay. The clouds are too thick to fall through. They’ll hold us up. And also with the thigh of the manspreader next to me resting heavily against my own I feel oddly at peace. As though this muscly man can hold us up if we fall, like Atlas shouldering the weight of the world. Maybe it’s residual safety from the weekend where the only thing that could have hurt us didn’t even have hands. Probably teeth though. Ghosts totally have teeth
Had a writing retreat in Gatlinburg this weekend with some of the funniest and funnest and most talented people I’ve ever met and when I say writing retreat I mean I wrote hardly anything at all, but I laughed more than I have in a long time and I call that a success. Not for my potential career, of course, but in general for sure. It’s a rare thing for me to go to a place with so many people and feel safe. If you are reading this and you were in Gatlinburg this weekend, I don’t mean a word of this. After all, I have a reputation to uphold.
When I fly, I am like a toddler standing outside a toy store, face pressed against the glass, desperate to get in. Out? I don’t want to go where I’m going. I want to go literally to any place other than the one to which I’m going. I want to keep going.
Our flight IS bumpy, but I’m far less scared than I was on the way TO Nashville, when the woman in the seat in front of me put the the shade on her window down. Who flies with the shade drawn? What kind of life is that, all trapped and unseeing. Like we are in a box? What did we do that was so bad that we have to be in this box?
The guy next to me resembles Pauly D if Pauly D had gone to college and didn’t spray tan. That was unfair. I have no idea whether or not the man next to me has gone to college. He’s watching something on his phone and I keep trying to see what it is but I think he can tell and he keeps covering the screen. Don’t worry. It’s not porn. I know this. I definitely know what porn is. I’ve seen many porns.
They turned out the cabin lights and now I can see what he’s watching and it’s a movie with The Rock and Kevin Hart? Is this Moana? Just kidding! I watched Moana. I cried a lot when I watched Moana. Oh man. I’m fun.
He’s manspreading mostly because the overhead bins are filled with guitars and his large bag is stuck under the seat in front of him and taking up most of the space for his feet. Because I’m flying out of Nashville. Ugh. Musicians. Right? Ugh.
The lights on ground twinkle like stars. Is this how the man in the moon feels? Or God? Am I God?
(I’m not God.)