I look for my seat, usually either on the aisle or window. Finding my seat I put my carry-on beneath the one in front of me. I fasten my safety belt and wait, maybe speaking with whoever is next to me. Rarely do I recline. Announcements over the speaker system, all the normal stuff (where we’re going, the expected weather, estimated arrival time, inflight movie identification, emergency instructions, etc.). The plane begins to taxi, getting into position for the takeoff. My favorite part of the whole ride is about to begin.
As the plane picks up speed I close my eyes, the nose lifts and we begin to climb. Grandma Jean taught me to chew gum to help my ears; seldom do I remember that before getting on the plane. I only flew with her a few times, the first time Weston and I came to Texas and most of the way to and from Hawaii several years ago. This is my favorite part, feeling light-headed, like being awake and dozing at the same time. I love this sensation of falling… upwards! Falling up, falling up, Shel Silverstein… I remember staying awake at night after I had been put to bed and reading the books of his I had, and hundreds of other books, by the light of my cracked closet door. I can’t remember how many times I got in trouble for being up till twelve, one, or two in the morning, school night after school night, reading. Lasting only long enough to begin to enjoy it, the plane starts to level. “Quick Kyle, fall asleep, not a hard sleep, just let yourself drift off a little…” I think to myself. Grasping to hold onto that feeling takes too much effort and it is pushed away, next time I won’t try to hold on and maybe it will slip away slower (I made that plan last time too).
Now for the ride, and landing, and baggage claim, and getting to wherever it is I’m going. What TV show did they say was playing? I wonder how many seasons out of date it is. Good thing I brought a book.