The Experience of Air Travel
See people ahead of you take extra time to place their belongings in the plastic security trays: belt, shoes, jacket, watch, jewellery, cell phone, money clip, pocket change, car keys, along with other unidentifiable metal things. See time slow down.
See the pilot rush past you on the escalator. Feel him nearly knock you down, when his luggage hits your back. See that you are both rushing to the same plane.
Hear a male passenger bragging to his female seatmate about his $200,000. a-year job, organizing and selling shipping boxes.
See his seatmate squeeze herself against the window and turn away from the man. See him not notice and hear him talking and talking.
See your seatmate use his I-pad. See him alternate, every 15 minutes, between playing a game where airplanes drop bombs on tanks below and reading passages from I John in the Bible.
Feel your seatmate poke you in the ribs each time he moves his arm, now that he’s switched to his laptop. See him stare at you when you mention this. Feel yourself move so that a different rib gets poked from time to time, to ease the ache. Think that he obviously hasn’t read the I John3:18 verse yet.
See a man playing solitaire on an I-pad. See him tap his left leg 3 times and snap his fingers twice, before each card move.
Smell the foot odor from the people behind you. Hear that they have made themselves comfortable by removing their sneakers. Feel uncomfortable. Turn on your overhead air.
Hear the music from the personal earphones of the man three rows ahead. Think about his hearing loss. Think about his taste in music.
Feel amazed at the ability of the woman across the aisle, to sleep undisturbed through the noisy outbursts of her own flatulence. Avoid breathing.
See the couple in the seat ahead of you, faces pressed together in the space between the seats; lots of kissing, lots of tongue action. Feel anguish that you are not asleep with your eyes shut. Hear the spit-swappers complain to the attendant that the cabin air is dry and they are so thirsty.
See clouds above and below. Feel wonder at the dark shadows on the waves of cloud. Think about writing a poem.
Feel empathy and warmth at the patience and resourcefulness of parents travelling with children and babies.
Hear two women discussing which one`s daughter has been accepted into the best university. Hear them say, ``You know… like… and like, you know`` many times. Like...too many times.
See a couple ask for tomato juice. See them pour their own vodka into their glasses. Feel curiosity about how they got on the plane carrying booze.
See cities and rivers, lakes and farms spread like the screen of an aerial Google map. Think about how tidy and perfect it looks.
See a couple springing into a grooming routine, prior to landing. See him lick his fingers and pat down her stray hairs. See her lick her fingers and pat his dyed red curls. See her tweeze his eyebrows. See his wrinkles and pouty face. See her French manicure gel nails and her three-carat diamond ring. See how thin and fashionable they are.
See passengers unbuckling, standing and reaching for overhead luggage, as soon as the wheels hit the runway. Hear yourself breathe. Feel yourself be patient.
Think about how temporary discomfort will get you to someplace you really want to be.
See and hear human behaviour. Feel how intriguing it is.
Thank the flight attendants. Feel sympathy; they have to work these flights every day.
Feel glad you have a sense of humor.
Feel glad you have arrived.
Feel glad and excited that you`ll soon see your grandsons and their parents.
See yourself walking off the plane, through the airport and out into the passenger pick up lane.
See them coming.
Feel yourself smiling.