Air travel is dreadful, as in dreadful. As in full of thick, hanging horror of the predestined. The sweaty palms, sleeplessness, and jerky reactions, I fear, tell my companions I am thoroughly terrified. Yet the flight staff doesn’t give me any special, soothing treatment. More than the stiff neck and cramped legs, it is my panic that keeps me awake. And in this insomniac state, paranoia takes hold. I jump to more and more distant conclusions. The strange noises and turbulence, the nervous-looking flight attendants-death is at hand! They can’t help me, they’re already plotting their flight from this soaring detritus, disguised with empty smiles and discretion so that they can get to the parachutes – I know they’ve packed 4 or 5 of them somewhere – while we nod off while watching Cop and a Half.
My thoughts have taken on the exponential dynamic of mob mentality: the extended silence from the cockpit means things are not going smoothly, the flight is not par for course, the plane has been hijacked, we’ll soon be launching out of this now banana republic bound aircraft. And now causality has gone mystical, I plow through War and Peace, Dolokhov and Pierre duel, a pistol’s trigger will injure, decease, one participant, and somehow, awhile collapsing the operating system of this jet.