Wednesday, 4 March 2015



Learning to Fly

Once you reach a certain age you learn that your ass isn’t as reliable as it was once upon a time. After you get your own head out of it, you can never be sure what it may choose to expel next. Long haul flights create the perfect churning vortex of ghastly gut balloons: there is the stress of travel itself, of being at the mercy of inept airlines; there is the confined space pumped with engineered air maintaining artificial atmospheric pressure; carbonated beverages effervesce in your swollen basketball belly; maggots gag on the grotesque grub; and then the seething discomfort of nicotine withdrawal. You dance in your seat, tangoing from cheek to cheek. You watch a movie and then congratulate yourself for not having paid to see it in a proper venue. You read a few chapters of a book. You flip through a magazine. You work on a crossword puzzle. You look out the window and hope the outside isn’t upside down. You try to doze but before doing so you warn yourself not to drool or snore. Eventually you give in and stand up to walk that lonely mile to the back of the aircraft. You make sure the drinks trolley is safely stowed. Everybody else knows where you’re headed. You hope there isn’t a lengthy line and there’s nary a thought about joining the Mile High Club. No, was the person using the john before you an ill-bred, spattering pig? What about your own rancid smell upon departure? The pores on your forehead have opened to the circumferences of golf ball dimples. You feel bloated and doughy, pale with irrational rage. That squalling child in row 17, you’d rip its throat out in exchange for a cigarette. Precious little bag of puke, your grandmother hates you. Maybe three quick puffs in the toilet? Who would know? What could possibly go wrong?

No comments:

Post a Comment