Monday, April 20, 2009


Nearly 11PM, the plane starts to slide out of the sky, a sloping angle towards Los Angeles.

The overhead light is off, air conditioner vent blowing across my face, half-pressed against the window, watching as the wings bank against the horizon.

Most of the passengers are asleep, the girl on my left included, having finally wiped herself out with flight-anxiety, her body gave. No more white knuckles share my armrest.

My books are at my feet, propped up against the wall so as not to spill, and my notebook rests in my lap, open to a half-full page.

I'm alone.

Surrounded by people, this flight is alone.

At night, I drove to the airport, dropped the rental car, and took the rail into the terminal.

I sat against the wall and ate a banana, the healthiest thing I could find in the airport foodcourt.

They called for boarding, section A, and I went. Straight down the aisle, dodging hastily shoved luggage, sliding past wayward appendages.

We fly, and I read. We fly, and I write.

When we land, I wait for most of the passengers to exit before uncurling myself from my seat and grabbing my bags.

I call no one when I am off the plane. I walk through the terminal, abandoned on a Sunday night, I walk past the baggage claim, through the gates and the passengerless cabs. Up the stairs, over the racetrack highway that I've come to know in the last few years.

My car is where I remember it, exactly to the spot. Untouched. Sitting down in the driver's seat feels odd, since I spent so much of my time in the rental. I'm lower, closer to the ground. My turning radius is better. I'll have to adjust for this.

Five minutes on the street, I'm okay.

Fifteen minutes, I'm at ease in my vehicle again.

I need to wash it.

I turn onto the freeway and I'm home.

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