Monday, July 23, 2007

you dont belong here

you dont belong in a window seat. you are too tall and the seats are too cramped to fit your length comfortably. the person in front of you doesnt care and reclines into your knees, shoving your tray deeper into your thighs, pushing into your shins which are stretched unsuccsessfully below. you dont even have the window shade up so you can watch the sky fall below you and the land, vast and empty from this high up, sweep by. the sun is hurting your eyes. you just want some sleep.

but your growling stomach wont let you. its been 2 days since you ate, sickness and shame sweat from every exposed pore on your body. a musty odor sits beneath your clothes, trapped in its own foul heat. the passengers next to you crunch on apples they brought on board, suck on juice boxes they clevery packed, munch on home made turkey sandwhiches, mustard dripping from the edges of whole wheat slices, that they save for when the seatbelt light goes off. there is a certain distance between you and them, a strangeness that is not ignored. you watch them eat from the corner of your eye, shuffling in your seat, trying to get comfortable while being invisible, but too large and awkward to go unnoticed. the stewardess brings by a pack of cheese and crackers and a small box of raisins. you order an apple juice with no ice and try not to make eye contact.

when the movie begins you puchase earphones and try to engage yourself in the fantasy. it is a comedy starring will ferrel, who you find funny in most films, and the guy from napolean dynamite, who you have still not formed a judgement on. the screen is small and embedded in the seat in front of you, the one that leans back on your legs, pushing you sideways, making you wince and grimace. you hope to fall asleep, that the movie will wash away the memories of all that brought you here and leave you in a blackness of unconscious. letting your head fall against the window, you take a deep breath, a long heavy sigh, and try to let your eyes relax.

there is turbulance and the seatbelt light flashes back on but you never unfastened yours so you ignore it. the cabin shakes and rattles and the captain assures everyone that this will be small and brief. you wonder if you will crash and if you will be afraid. all your worries are dull and foreign up in the sky. so close to space. the big black nothing of mystery. you wonder how long it would take to crash, if you would glide or fall, if there would be any survivors. you swallow and it hurts your throat and an anxiety swells up in you then passes. you hope you never land.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at