I thought of the northern lights and how everyone wants to go see them someday. I don’t know if it’s in my destiny to witness an illusion – if that is what it is – but I don’t know everything and I am open to the experience. Choosing to return to the present, and the reason that such thoughts were inspired, I watched the twinkling quiet of the runway as I sat in the plane which felt like a massive wind tunnel of expectation – engines roaring, ventilation on, goodbye, dear Major Tom.
Why do people always stop talking before the plane takes off?
I sat there quietly, not wanting to speak, a little intoxicated from the expensed glasses of wine and insubstantial dinner. You visit your favorite chain restaurants in an airport at the wrong time, and a meal that was supposed to be standard and delicious anywhere, anytime, is somewhat subpar thanks to unsatisfied and underpaid kitchen staff who just want to go home, the few in such a transient arena that don’t have the option to fly away to somewhere more interesting. So I fixate on the bead of moisture as it began to roll down delicately down the window, as a similar, larger drop of water shot across the wing and something made me think of the young man I talked to at the bar because now I am too old for him. He was adorable, eager and traveling on his company’s dime, from somewhere in the midwest to somewhere else in the midwest with a brief, exhilarating evening in the big city of Chicago. Yet he also saw me as an older relative – perhaps it was the red wine to his vodka sodas – which was a slight shock, but the wisdom in my soul appreciated it on a deep level.
Everyone wants to be wanted; I don’t know what that feels like anymore, professionally, personally, I don’t emit my true light any longer.
Well, the aircraft inside which I sit is clearly trying to pull me out of morbidity, self-pity, or whatever narcissistic direction my thoughts are going because there goes the engine. I think it sounds normal – but who knows what that even means anymore – and it might explode in a firey, glorious, white-hot ball, but I don’t want to be dead, yet, at age 36 because I want the gripping passion and drop of the stomach of being alive despite society’s overarching mediocrity and the current standstill of my own existence.
On the other hand, maybe I’m done here, on this flight and I know it. Maybe that this really is it – my headphones won’t work anyway, so I have two hours of silence ahead of me, and maybe it’s a sign: I want someone to tell me to be brave. I want to feel safe. I want to be taken up in an embrace and light and love and know that even if I am about to go, it will be ok.
I don’t want to be old and wondering “why,” I don’t want to be old and wondering “why can’t I tell him that anymore.” I don’t want to be old and thinking about the fact that my life has disappeared and each moment has slid down the slightly curved window of existence and I’m looking at the years melded into a puddle without the exhilaration and flight I desired and hoped for a long time ago.
As the plane begins to roll and accelerate and move beyond speeds possible in any motor vehicle, I watch. I look at the tarmac blurring beneath me, the slide of the wing from side to side, unable to stay entirely straight. We are taking off.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”