I love to travel. I have the feeling it’s because it makes me so anxious I forget my life and all its troubles. In this way, I am the perfect product of my parents. My father walking through airports like living rooms – only with a better dress code – and my mother checking the tickets and the passports and the clock and her bladder for the seventh time.
As a kid I carried my favourite doll, Isabel, on the plane with me. I hated putting her through the x-ray machine and I refused to stow her in the overhead compartment. My reasoning was that if the plane crashed, I couldn’t leave her behind. We’d have to drown together; it’s the only way. Now that I’m older, I’ve learnt to drink chamomile tea before the flight. I sip the hot cup of calm and think about how fucking grown-up I am in my docs with green ribbons instead of shoelaces.
It seems I’ve also learnt never to pack light. The fear of boredom is too immense to leave home without two books, a notebook, my computer, my camera, several pens (in case one runs out), a change of clothes, a music player and a million appropriate chargers. All in my hand luggage. I think of these things before I think of my passport. This gets me into trouble a lot. Border officials in Germany decided not to fine me or charge me with a criminal offence. All the novels and clean socks in the world couldn’t stop my tears.
This flight is only seven hours and deep inside I know the books, pens, camera, games and clothes will lay dormant while I watch movies. Peep Show makes me laugh out loud. The Help leaves me sobbing like a person who is really sad. Two hours before we land, I remember I’ve forgotten something (every fucking time). Everyone would have been shocked at my swearing; except I have this theory that nobody can hear anything on a plane. God has done this so you don’t have to listen to five hundred other people snoring in unison. This is a daytime flight though, so it’s mostly only good for the swearing.
Deafness is one of the reasons I love planes. Unisex toilets are another. How can something so liberated from gender exist in the same space as stewardesses? Baffling. No wonder people have sex in airplane bathrooms. Some weird combination of confused and aroused always leads to sex. Sadly, and perhaps for the best, my partner in crime is not on the plane. I stare at myself in the mirror and worry I might be turning grey but that’s about it.
What I’m really excited about today is the vegan plane food. All day, I’m wondering how closely this meal will resemble a salad. Chilli pasta comes and I’m pleasantly surprised. There is a salad but there is also raspberry banana cake and that is vegan goodness universally recognised. The salad’s not bad either. Perhaps the lack of turbulence has placated me. Maybe it was the eggplant. I’m not panicking. We’re landing in Singapore and there is no sign of depression or anxiety or headaches that make one go ughhhnk. As I tie my shoe ribbons into bows I’m sure there’s only one explanation. I’m a real live grown-up person.
Or the plane blew up before take off and I’m actually dead. Oh dear.
- rampages posted this