Monday, March 15, 2010

The Flight

There are two things about which I am currently ecstatic.

One would be the seven CDs' worth of ambient/instrumental music Jackal gave me that I loaded onto my iPod. Alpha, Riceboy Sleeps, Amiina, Valgeir Sigurosson. Soothing, contemplative, fantastic.

The second is free WiFi access on board. Thanks, American Express. (Valued at $12.95, available only on flights between March 13-27. Just so you know what a great deal you're getting.)

I love travelling. I love airports, I love people watching.


The teenage girl slumped in her seat in business class wearing a black T-shirt and hot pink knee-high Doc Martens. Spring break at Dad's house? Upgrade courtesy a stepfather's credit card miles rewards?

Business travelers are exact; so functional. Everything fits neatly into everything else and is designed for flawless maneuvering, yet never allowing functionality to eschew aesthetics. Like Sweden.

Hippies with their giant carry-ons and trail mix, enraged that security regulations still do not allow for full Nalgene bottles.

Turbulence is key. A little bit of turbulence is a reminder that you are, in fact, enclosed in a metallic capsule speeding through thin air so many miles above terra firma. You are not in a bus, a cab, or a train. Slight turbulence is getting your money's worth in flying. A little hint of danger, a lilt of adrenaline. I'm more than ok with turbulence.

I have to sit next to the window. I have to. Last summer when Lee and I flew to San Antonio for a friend's wedding, we discovered that we both have to have the window seat, which meant that we could not sit together. The woman at the ticket counter was confused.

"If you want, I can seat you together," she said, helpfully.

"No thanks," we answered.

"Are you sure? Because we have two seats available-"

"-No! We're fine!"

I'm almost certain she thought we were a couple that had gotten into a spat and were now refusing to sit next to one another on the plane. I'm also certain that she felt she had failed as enthusiastic airline employee to repair our damaged relationship and enact peace between us with the offer of adjoining seats.

Turbulence. A little dip. A thank-you-ma'm. A tip of the hat from the friendly skies.

I'm pretty sure I could just free-associate myself through this week. I'm enamored with this minimalist, post-modern methodology.

I haven't uttered a sentence like that since grad school.

I blame all of this free WiFi and open skies.


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