What I had initially thought to be a routine flight turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience – and it was all because of you.
…Despite my common economy seat, you offered me a full back massage by repeatedly kicking the back of chair. To date, I have yet to regain full mobility of the lower half of my body. But since I am single, I suppose I don’t have much use for it anyway.
I did not pay for the in-flight entertainment package and I was worried that I might get bored. But my concerns were unnecessary. You were talking so loudly, as if your friend was seated in the cargo hold rather than right next to you.
…At this point, I thought, “It can’t get any better than this.” But what I had meant as a rhetorical question, you took as a challenge.
…For immediately, my nose was assaulted by a putrid smell of death and decay.
The stench was so strong that I turned to check if the old lady seated next to me was still breathing.
It was so nice of you to take off your shoes and put your feet between my seat and the plane window. It must have taken considerable effort – it was a small space but you stuck it as close to my face as you possibly could.
…The sun is rising above the horizon; the sky is bleeding crimson and gold. But I cannot turn to gaze at this everyday miracle because every time I do, I smell the anus of Satan.
I had half the mind to pull down the oxygen mask above me. But then I remembered that I was flying on a budget airline, so I’d probably have to pay extra for that.
…This experience has been so memorable that I am writing this from my therapist’s office. I have also signed up for ten more sessions to talk about it.
There’s much more. Flying is a uniquely small-D democratic experience, bringing together people of all sorts, cultures, practices, and backgrounds. It puts them in close proximity to each other. And it places limits on their options, especially exit options, for the length of the flight.
And thus we get conflict. Yet the number of inflight incidents is on the decline.
Venting to an online journal is probably a great outlet to reduce conflict. It’s certainly better than confronting fellow passengers who come from different backgrounds and expectations and may be on the defensive already thanks to the conditions they face. I thank goodness I have a blog.
Get your feelings out, people — but don’t do it in a confrontational way during the flight! That will help keep the tenor of the passenger cabin cool, prevent flight diversions, and arrests.
And for the sake of your fellow passengers, if you’re going to take off your shoes, ask others around you if your feet smell like the ‘anus of Satan’. And if they do, put the shoes back on (and bathe more often).