Thursday, June 4, 2015

     Traveling by plane these days is tantamount to giving birth without a prize at the end. 

     It begins as I squeeze my body into an adult highchair, the tray cutting off my air supply and confining me to a space made for a gnat. My body is compressed, the air is freezing and full of sneeze, and the ceiling feels like its about a quarter of an inch above my hair part. There is no room for my feet. Within minutes they begin to bloat like the rest of my body. It feels like all my arteries and veins will pop at any minute. 

     The whistling and groaning of the plane itself threatens to end my hearing as I know it, and maybe that’s on purpose so others around me won’t hear me scream as my patience grows thin by the second. 

     Lucky me, the middle seat is occupied by a large man whose love handles dig into my ribs. He must put his arm on my armrest because there’s nowhere else for it to go. He doesn’t realize I am in aircraft labor. I don’t tell him as I prefer not to engage in any conversation while my body is contorted and organs are compromised.

     My seat is on the aisle so as passengers boarded, their backpacks and MK bags knocked me in the face and shoulders as they passed. They obviously didn’t recognize the words I was mouthing or the wtf expression on my face.

     No food will be placed on my tray, as airlines don’t serve food anymore. If I’m lucky, I will get a cup of yesterday’s coffee with a blue plastic stick in it. As I asked for “black,” I’m not sure what the stick is for. Maybe it’s to poke the dough boy next to me the next time he snorts or snores. 

     Two hours into the flight, I am absolutely sure I am going to have a nervous breakdown. I wonder how many other people are saying to themselves, “I think I will, I think I will, I think I will.” The line to the Lilliputian loo is seven deep, and it’s about a football field away. How long can I hold it? I think we’re looking at a world record here. In my imagination, I am conjuring up all kinds of horrific images of not making it. I refocus.

     Three hours into the flight with at least two to go, assuming there is not congestion at the gate, my body is the size it was in my seventh month. Fingers are swollen the size of ski mittens, my ankles have disappeared, and I cant feel my tongue. I would rather have a root canal than continue this journey.

     Now a baby begins to scream, and the guy next to me is passing gas every 26 seconds. Oh Lord, give me strength. “Air Travel” is an oxymoron. There is no air, and we all become morons by the time we deplane.