Early Morning Flight

I was in bed at 1AM and out of bed again at 5. My eyes are dry, my stomach is grumbling, and I’m exhausted. I have a lot of work ahead of me this week and I’m still dosing to treat a migraine that started yesterday.

It’s a little before 7AM and my flight just boarded. I’m wedged into a window seat on a very small plane, hoping that my seat will afford me a few hours of shuteye while we’re in the air so that I’ll be ready for my afternoon in the office.

It’s now 7AM and the man next to me is already asleep. His carefully and loudly inflated neck cushion is perched on top of his bulging belly, on top of which his arms rest, his elbows jutting out at either side so that one of them bumps me any time I move. He’s wearing noise blocking headphones but they’re not over his ears.

The man is snoring.

The flight hasn’t even begun yet and the guy I’m crammed into this tiny space with is snoring.

What’s more, the log cutter has stretched his legs out so that the soles of his feet are pressed flat against the wall in front of us. I am trapped.

The plane taxis and takes off and then we’re airborne, and still he snores.

Air is being pumped loudly through the cabin now, which helps to drown out some of my neighbor’s logcutting noises. I wonder if I might be able to get some sleep after all.

Here comes the smell of stale farts. From next to me, from the recirculated air, from all angles at once. I gag.

I want to rip this man’s unused noise blocking headphones off his head and put them over my own ears.

I want to breathe fresh, clean, non-farty air.

I want to get a little bit more sleep, dammit!

I think the elbow jab I just delivered was an accident.

We’re preparing to deboard the plane now. Finally, after hours that stretched on forever, I will be free from the stale farts and log cutting sounds.

I sit patiently, waiting for my time to exit. Log cutter takes his time standing up to stretch, grabbing his bags, and deflating his neck cushion. He opens the nozzle and begins to squeeze the half-donut pillow to release the air, noisily, in one big whoosh. Right into my face.

I want to punch him.

Then it hits me: Somehow, after months and months and years and years of this, PMS has managed to sneak up on me yet again.

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