Thinking About A Girl on a Flight

Just a bit of ramble. Slice of life and nothing more.

I met a girl on a flight, I got to know her life, and then she was gone. Not dead. No, she left the gate with me and went her way as I went mine. But I think about her, sometimes. A lot, actually. Not for any romantic reason, except to perhaps romanticize what may have happened to her after we parted forever. It feels so awful and final.

And that IS the romantic in me. She was young and scared and as soon as she curled up in her seat beside me she was looking for a way in. She started by commenting on the guy complaining behind us. The whole flight he went on about his ex-wife. The tragedy of her mental illness… well, the tragedy it had wrought on him. She rolled her big brown eyes and whispered, maybe a little too loudly, “OhmyGod that guy could shut up any time now.”

He didn’t. But I smiled and nodded, and the dam broke. I’m a little… non-social? Sometimes, especially when the person beside me is clearly from another world. She was all hip hop flash and younger than I. But she needed me, too. She was terrified. I don’t know how she made it with so much fear, except its how we all do. We just do it and look back and say, Wow.

She told me in intricate detail how she would escape that plane if we went down. Water or land, she had a plan… and it was adorable. I didn’t have the heart to explain to her how we would not be flying over the ocean much, and that anywhere else we’d be dead. Just dead. Smash, crash and exploded bits. And… even an ocean crash isn’t very favorable. I did explain to her that it was much safer to be on a plane, even if ours was having code clearance problems, than any land vehicle on any given day.

I love flying. I love the sense of take off, the g-force, the speed. The only thing I don’t like is how the atmosphere drys me out and I’m constantly sucking down water to compensate. It became us talking, and me learning so much about her. Twenty two and so painfully worldly in such tiny, narrow ways. I am naturally dodgy with questions. I am perhaps the most elusive non-famous person anyone will ever meet. I don’t share things well. Opinions, yes! Philosophy, yes please! Teach me things! I love it. But as for my private life, it is ever so private.  A situation I’m trying to fix. Not only because I lost this girl forever, and didn’t have to.

She had a shine in her eyes, and grateful words for me. We were fast companions. Even if there was not one point at which we hit a high intellectual note. I gave her lots of advice on things that seemed to baffle her, things she genuinely seemed to assimilate. Stuff to me that is so basic, but to other people seems like freakin’ magic. I forget how I’ve educated myself, and how strange that is to the average person.

Not to say I’m anything special. But when you’re twenty two, you haven’t begun to realize that true fun comes with learning. Time behind the grindstone teaches that best. Some people never figure that out, and that is the true shame. She wasn’t the only one I met, or enjoyed talking with, but her need of me I suppose is what impacts me most, even now.

I hope I fly again, soon. I love it so much. I will be crammed near the middle of the plane, by but not at the exit doors, and with strangers. I always am. And if I talk, then I suppose they might talk back. Will they leave a hole behind, like this one did?

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