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10.29.2003 - 2:49 p.m.


Through some astounding miracle of fate, I had an entire row to myself on my flight to Chicago last week. As the crush of people filing onto the plane slowed to a trickle, I kept peeping over the seat in front of me, prairie-dog-like, waiting for the giant bodybuilder identical twins that were sure to whump down next to me, but no, the doors shut with seats A and B vacant.

I was delighted. The first thing I did was raise the arm rests so I had one smooth largish seating area. I abandoned my assigned aisle seat and scootched over to the window during takeoff, and later stretched my legs along the empty seats. Bliss.

It was wonderful, better than first class even, to have all that space to myself. Flying really puts you in shockingly intimate physical close quarters with total strangers, you know? Your arm brushes against theirs. Your leg is centimeters from theirs. You can hear every rustle of their paper, every sigh, the tiny pop in their jaw when they yawn to clear their ears. And if you are doomed to the middle seat and your neighbors have each decided the armrest is theirs alone? You have to spend the entire flight vigilant, rigid, lest you accidentally relax and slump outward, your body resting against their own.

While I was enjoying my legroom and listening to the airline-provided headphone music, we hit a lengthy patch of rough turbulence. I was listening to opera at the time, and came to the sudden (inexplicable) decision that if I were going to die on the plane, a dramatic operatic musical accompaniment would make it all okay. It would be just like a movie.

The plane is clearly in trouble. What has started out as normal turbulence has escalated to a jouncing, vicious paroxysm. The engines have started making a tortured mechanical scream I've never heard before. I spy a stewardess running, stumbling up the aisle towards the cockpit, her hand pressed to her mouth, her eyes dark with terror. There is a terrific slamming sensation, like being dropped onto a cement floor from a great height, and the overhead compartments burst open. Samsonite fills the air. Soft-sided, wheeled missiles whirl through the cabin, striking the shrieking passengers, tumbling against the ceiling and the floor. Yellow oxygen masks explode downward in a rubbery mass. The plane hitches what feels like a giant sigh, and everything tilts. Everything starts to fall.

I push the up arrow one last time on my arm rest, turning the music to the maximum output. The singer's voice is a heartbreaking pitch, she is at the crescendo of her aria. I close my eyes as waves of music crash over me. And -


Well, obviously the plane was fine and I'm alive and kicking, so no weepy Philadelphia-esque death soundtrack for ME. It's a darn good thing the plane didn't crash, because 1) shit, I'd be dead, and that would suck, right? and 2) I was all by myself in my row and therefore had no chance of Plane Death Fantasy Part Two which involves my seatmate, a rumpled-yet-surprisingly-sexy businessman, tearing off his glasses and catching my face with both hands, then delivering the most amazing kiss of my short life as the doomed plane plummets earthward.


Q. Christ on a fucking bike, issues with flying much?
A. Shaddap.



Our Halloween pumpkins that we carved last week - mine's on the right.

Aaand these are last year's. Hmm. Hm hm hm hm. JB and I seem to be in a creative rut, jack-o-lantern-wise.

The very very frightening Illuminations haunted tree candleholder. Boo!

JB: "What are you taking a picture of?"
Me: "Everything! Everything's all...glowy."

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12 comments so far.

I have moved. - 1.03.2005
Obviously, a work in progress. - 12.27.2004
Happy holidays! - 12.24.2004
Listen, I am not a complete dick, it's not like I want Joe to die alone surrounded by cats or something. - 12.23.2004
Plus I am convinced my butt is extra big when it's upside down. - 12.22.2004

yay, diaryland