1. Being trapped in a confined environment can turn an ordinary experience into a powder keg. Write about a thing that happened to you while you were using transportation; anything from your first school bus ride, to a train or plane, to being in the backseat of the car on a family road trip.
I don’t have anything spectacular to write about that happened all at once but I do have one trip that was a succession of events that made for an interesting trip. In this particular story I was headed to see my sister, Rachael, in Pennsylvania. It was also the first time I’ve ever flown alone. It was sort of fun… Sort of.
The air port is pretty empty.
The woman in front of me, I swear, I thought her and her guy were going to have good-bye sex right there. Luckily they didn’t and then it was my turn and he asked how old I was,
“I’m sixteen.” I say, glad that it was a easy question. If he asked my Social ( I know he wouldn’t, but I was thinking he might at the time) or something, I would have been screwed. I get passed him then I get to the Grouchy Security Lady and I nearly gawked at her because she wants my jacket in one of those security tubs and my shoes in another box. My bag? Unless it has a laptop, no box. Lady, what the hell? I’ve been to this airport and I have seen more ethical, happier, and brighter Security Crayons than you. Southwest? Put everything in in one box if you can. She was also he kind of person who gave orders in increments. Just tell me all at once and don’t mumble.
Southwest: the happy airline.
Once I make it out of Security, I find my gate easily and sit there for a while ogling the Odwalla drinks and bars. I finally get up, determining that my flight won’t leave when I move my butt. I get a bar and a drink. I feel better and stat reading Under the Dome. It’s good, but slow like most of Stephen Kings books so it’s not working to hold my attention. I keep reading because I am stubborn.
When my plane starts to board I am momentarily worried and irritated with how they board.
How am I supposed to do this? F8? ‘Numbers ten and up’? Does every letter of the alphabet have ten seats? Or is every letter one seat or row?
I go with numbers ten and up. I find my seat and it’s a window–yes. I see my seat partner and he is a mildly chubby man in a floral shirt with a chain link bracelet–his watch was on his other hand–and he was listening to Beyonce. He also had an iphone and a blackberry, but unlike every other zealot, he had a Dell Notebook that was black and most likely a 06-07 model. I saw the Vista sticker and this definitely wasn’t a newer model.
I find the set up odd. I am sixteen, reading Stephen King wearing a pink Antones (blues club), blue sparkly Converse (which got some attention from Pilots), LA Ink sweatpants (I didn’t know, I just liked the design) and listening to Depeche Mode. I don’t have everything spread everywhere like he does, and I listen when they say,
“Please turn off all portable electronics.” He does not. He keeps listening. He doesn’t make any attempt toward conversation and neither do I. He doesn’t even look at me. He actually looks straight past me into my window. Still avoids my gaze. I know it can’t be my boobs because they are hidden in my Cambridge sweater. However, I take off my sweater because it was getting a little warm–he notices. Of course. Now you ask if I mind all of your stuff everywhere. So, a 26-inch waist and DD’s interest you? How funny.
I am glad when the trip is over and I land in Newark. My hip is hurting and so is my nose. Plane smells. People smells. Nasty drink and food smells. And someone is sick. Or going to be. When I get off the plane and into the air-port I ask a Continental Lady where my gate is because my pass doesn’t say. She tells me it’s gate 114. I’m at gate 86. I go and start speed walking to my gate and, yes, a few laugh when I continue my speed walk on a moving side walk. I don’t care because all of them, honestly, looked like Humans on Display. Blank faces and zombie-like.
As I am walking I realize my tampon is on it’s last legs. Oh, joy. Wait. Oh, shit. I walk faster and find my gate and I find the nearest bathroom.
Once back to my gate, I find it’s moderately filled with little league baseball boys. Since they talk quite loud I determine some things: they’re quite dull, several of their names, several of their phone numbers, and that they are forgetful–that bit was thanks to their coach. Good going, coach. While I wait I listen to the Gate Calls,
“Mr. Gordan your non-stop flight to Beijing is boarding, please go to gate 78.” They said this thirty times and I was about to go look for Mr. Gordon myself. I was sitting alone, contemplating this when I small and I mean small–thin, crush-able looking body–girl sat some seats away from me. She had the average hair butchering: emo hair cut, sandy blond, and fake high-lights. She must have woke up this morning and decided that wearing all gray was awesome. Gray skinny jeans, gray converse that were attached to feet that wouldn’t stop moving, gray wolf shirt with red rhinestones for the eyes, and she was kind of gray skinned herself. I couldn’t determine her height until the plane started boarding and when we did… Guys, compared to me, she looked ten. She couldn’t have been, though. Her face was more mature. She was tiny and she made me look twenty-six. Her face all made-up and shit with bright little eyes and scar free skin. While I have shadows, discoloration, darker eyes, dark hair and no make-up. Her mother then arrives, making her seem even younger and smaller. I then find out she has a birdie like voice; oh, boy.
Once we bored the plane I find that I am in the very first seat–1A. I am on a very small plane with a lot of very loud boys. The Flight Attendant gave me an apologetic smile.
My hip drove me crazy. I couldn’t hold a position for more than a minute. Literally.
The flight it finally over and I walk into PA Air-port with one last thought,
“I hate people.”