From there to here.
I walk unto the plane, noticing the chipped blue paint on the exterior as I amble past the threshold. Greet the flight attendant with a polite, quiet smile, taking in her thick glasses and disheveled hair. Turning the corner, single file, my eyes search for overhead space to place my luggage. Fifth row in, I pause and bend down, carefully placing my iced tea onto the aisle floor. Overhead, I slide a navy duffle bag to the left, and squeeze in my case, feeling accomplished and lucky for the find. I swing my bag over my shoulder more securely and retrieve my tea. The condensation drips down my hand. I look to the seats. A cute hipster girl reading Devil in the White City and a middle aged man drinking coffee as he nods his head steadily to music streaming. I lift my eyebrows to signal my arrival and slide into the space between.
I sit upright. Feet planted firmly on the floor. Even keel. Notice my knees. The man to my left doesn’t appear old, but his hands are aged. The hipster girl with the blunt blond cut has a bag of pistachios stashed, and heavy bangs sweep the rim of her glasses. My eyes scan the bland, manila ceiling. Focus in on the illuminated seat belt sign, in brief trance. I glance out the window, past middle aged man’s silhouette, onto fields of Middle American grass that stretches beyond the runway.
I feel the pressure of departure as the plane’s speed builds into full throttle. My body presses firmly into my seat. Fixed, straight gaze. A daydream haze. The vibrations seep through to the spine.
We sweep through cloud, ever higher, into the break until the clouds braid into a quilted pattern below. Soft and unassuming. A flash of blinding light streams through before the plane tips its wing slightly and turns its back on the open hands of sun. The plane darkens. The cabin lights turn off.
Fixed. In this place. This space between. I glide. Contemplating the miles. Speeding overhead, stretches of rivers and road, families and homes, trees and roots below, gripping deeply. So fiercely. Memories and moments flash past at 570 mph. Blips of pivotal pics pass, in moving motion through mind’s reel. I feel. In the dark stillness, I sit. Transfixed.
Lights breathe life back into the plane shortly after, signaling our descent. An overly enthusiastic voice bounds from the front of the plane informing us of the weather. I straighten up and extend my legs.
Screeching tires. The plane jumps and we jerk somewhat, unaffected. Back on solid ground, I turn and survey passengers in the aisle beginning to reclaim their luggage from overhead. The travelers file out, and I jump in the line, grabbing my luggage with grace. Rolling out swiftly I thank the attendant and inform her that I hope she has a nice night.
As I walk through the busy airport, music playing in my ears, I reflect on the hour I sat. The created space.
From here to there.