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Flight


Who would have thought that this is what it would have become. Humans dreams of flight for millennia. The strap wings to their arms, fasten wood skeletons to their bodies with leather straps, sketch drawings of fantastical machines that flap and writhe.

Now? Well. Here I am in the "zen lounge" in an airport, waiting for my shower reservation. Two men with gray hair, deeply reclining into pleather chairs the size of easily three normal airport chairs are ideating at my 2 oclock. They have likely paid for a private ride to the airport in a climate controlled car with wi-fi access. They have paid to skip security checkpoints, to avoid pat-downs, and to ignore entirely the lines of folks waiting for Shake Shack on concourse B. You should see the way this guy is splaying in his room-sized pleather chair. He's wagging his finger at his buddy.

I was worried that I was sweating too much on the Air Train out to JFK. Now, I want to sweat as much as possible so that this shower washes off all of it.

This is my glimpse of upper-middle class. Before I get crammed back into economy, The fact that I got to pick my window seat is the only consolation. Now, I'll also smell good and be tipsy enough to slide directly into sleep.

Usually I'm worried that I'll be dehydrated or too hydrated. That I'll either have to hit the call button for water or have to climb over two people to get to the bathroom. The indignities are minor. I can travel freely. Who can complain about having this kind of access to amenities in the airport?

Except, who are these people who don't think about it at all? Who are these people who ideate in their chairs? I wonder, honestly, whether they are worth more than me. Or rather, I wonder about the scales of value that make it possible for someone out there to value themselves more than any other person.

I'm just babbling. Just trying to get words on the page. I'm so behind -- ten days. I'd planned to catch up on the plane. To force 5,000 words out seemed possible when I had consumed zero beers. Now? It seems harder, to be honest, to imagine that I won't just drift off as soon as the cabin doors close. It seems harder to believe that my punctuation will remain true, that my grammar will remain intact, that I will hold onto whatever motivation I have even at this moment. And I can already feel it slipping away.

I'm in group three. I will board at around 8:45 said the lady with the gray hair at check in. I don't want any people who are waiting on me to be old. I don't want them to still be at work. I want them to be somewhere comfortable, pondering their life and their grandkids, not telling me about the amenities, the spa. Not wanting them to parrot me when I say that I'm glad I arrived at the airport early.

"I am too," sir, she said.