“Thank you for choosing Jet Blue. We hope you enjoy your flight and please remain seated until the seatbelt light, located overhead, is turned off. We will be arriving at Logan International Airport in two hours and thirty minutes. Enjoy the rest of our flight.”
Exhausted, he shuts the plane’s plastic window covering, concealing a world that he has had enough of. Sleeping passengers snore while others remain awake by no choice of their own. Anyone with any sense has their headphones in, if only he had remembered his. Stewardesses work their ways up and down the aisle, squeezing between passengers that have the plane at full capacity.
To his right is a leopard-print mess. Leopard-print headrest holds the neck of a woman cloaked in a leopard-print blanket covering a leopard-print sweater. Well, the sweater is maroon but we are trying to preserve an intriguing repetitive structure, here. Her nails are painted an eye-catching neon blue that, for him, is overlooked by her more discerning attribute of brown skin. She is of Barbadian descent (from his perspective she is definitely ethnic, though cannot make out what she is given her quirky British accent, which really throws him off.) and cannot stop using the “Hey Google” command on her phone. She irritates him greatly and he feels his attention pulling elsewhere.
He switches his attention to the screen situated on the back of the seat in front of him, currently showing the latest B-movie to have hit the cultural wasteland. He attempts to switch to the cable channels, but results in a message popping up on the screen that says “The television is out of coverage and the WiFi is down.” This hardly matters, with no headphones he would have had to turn on the subtitles and there is nothing he detests more than reading. An advertisement on the screen appears advertising for snapchat collaboration with JetBlue. The words mean nothing to him as he shoves a piece of gum in his mouth.
An Overheard Conversation
“He was cheating on me and it really sucked, I mean he said it to my face. So it’s not like…”
“I feel you, I came out of my relationship more negative than when I started. I never spended on myself and I only ever spoiled him.”
“I would ask him for something, and it wouldn’t even be a big deal, probably would cost like fifteen dollars and then he would go out and buy something way more expensive than I even asked for. I mean he could be sweet, but that’s not even what I asked for. And he still go outs and has sex with my best friend…”
“From now on I am going to close off everyone. I just want to be by myself until I see something in someone else that I really want.”
“I know, my grades are so bad right now I didn’t even tell my parents how bad I was doing this semester.”
“I feel bad for you and I feel bad for myself. I feel like I wasted my time. So like, also, there’s this guy who has been after me for a while. He’s nice enough. And the other day I was talking to him and he asked me to go to his formal. But like I said, he’s a real sweetheart you know, and I mean he gets good grades and everything, but I was like no I like the bad boys. Like sorry.”
“He’s in a frat and he’s the captain of the school’s rugby team and I mean I am coach for the girl’s rugby team so it’s not like we don’t have anything in common, and I don’t want to sound bad, but like dude it’s a formal…”
“And it’s not like I want to go with anyone else, but that does not change the fact that I don’t want to go with him.”
Three Rows Forward // Two Seats Right
A young kid is deeply fixated on a bald spot of the man’s head in front of him. His inner monologue reads: “If I ever have the misfortune to lose all my hair prematurely, please God, let me have the sense to just shave it all off. Better to wear my age proudly than to comb over in some attempt to cling onto a younger self that is long gone… But Rogaine has shown to be increasingly promising these days. I wonder why this man has not tried such products. Maybe he is a Rogaine-user and would be completely bald otherwise and the one glaring spot happens to be right outside his vision when he looks in the mirror. Is it my social responsibility to inform him of the bald spot? Would it be presumptuous to imagine this is the reason the bald spot remains? Dear God, please do not let me go bald.”
Somewhere Among the Crowd
“As I have been told many times, you cannot lock up the darkness.”
“Have you talked to anyone else about this?”
Two rows forward // One Seat Right
A middle-aged writer is scribbling on a napkin he received when they were passing out beverages: “Last night I woke up standing in front of the mirror. This is not the first time this has happened. Aside from the blatant symbolism at play here, I have no patience for waking up in such a manner. Waking up to yourself is one of the most horrid sights in this world. You are face-to-face with the impending doom of death and your own mortality stares right into your eyes and burns itself into your soul. The paradox of your mind telling you that you must be dead, that this is an out of body experience, but the thought itself screaming at you that you must be alive. I am still unsure if this carries any real significance to anyone besides myself, but I believe it to be the case nonetheless.
“I’ll have a coffee with Splenda and cream and in a separate glass may I please have a cranberry juice.” As if that even needed to be stated, well actually the last guy before asked for an orange juice with diet coke in the same glass. What a world we live in.
There is too much noise aboard these flights. He closes his eyes, wanting to be away from it all. However, we never do arrive and even after they make it to the airport, these people never leave. They always follow him and you have to wonder if the problem is them or himself.