Wednesday

[travel] On getting to DC

I am in DC and the weather is colder here than it is at home. I'm meeting lots of people, shaking hands, doing the blah blah talk. But enough about that.

I was able to get a lot of knitting done on the flight down:



I want to say that the flight down was shitty but I'm trying to be more Zen and stuff. So, I'm saying that the flight down was fine and I had a good time. Even though the plane was small (I've only been on two smaller planes in my life and one of them was a Cessna). It was a United Express and the seats were like ONE on one side of the plane and TWO on the other side of the aisle. I had an aisle seat on the two-seat side and I got everyone's bag/butt/hip pushed into my face when they walked past.

But I'm Zen. I'm calm. Things like that don't bother me anymore. I mean, the kid sitting behind me with the really wet cough could have covered her mouth but, hey, it's a kid. I understand.

And the baby on my right front with a shriek like a sharp blade drawn across a blackboard wasn't so bad. The guy right next to me who fell asleep and, I think, died and released his bowels didn't upset me. Nope. The kissy couple in front of me didn't make me feel bad that I had to leave my boyfriend for a week and who knows if I'll die during my trip so I may never see him again- so what? I'm cool.

The most interesting event of my flight occurred between me and a young woman across the aisle from me, in the single seat. Before we took off, she looked around the plane and said to me, "This is a SMALL plane" with a look of pure terror painted across her face. I nodded and kept knitting. Before takeoff, the pilot said it would be a choppy ascent but the flight would smooth out once we reached our altitude. During the ascent, the plane goes through a fair bit of turbulence and with each bump, the woman has small full-body spasm and grips her arm-rests with white knuckle strength.

One big bump later and her hand lashes out and grabs my forearm. Instead of saying, "Bitch, do you WANT me to drop a stitch?" I say, "Uh..." She asks if it's all right to hold my hand. [sigh] All right. I hold her hand while she tells me she's afraid of fly. She has to change in DC to get on ANOTHER plane for Albuquerque. Oh no. I joke to her that flight attendants should regularly pass out Valium for people like her. She tells me that she has some muscle relaxants and is thinking of taking one just before she gets on her next flight. I tell her I think that's a good idea.

Tired of my sweaty palm, she says she's all right and I go back to knitting (while we both surreptitiously wipe our mutually damp palms down our pant legs). She freaked out a couple more times over the next thirty minutes and then dug into her bag for something.

Now, I didn't actually SEE her take the pill(s) but I know she must have. When we began our descent, I turned to her to check out how she was doing. She swung her head around to me, tried to focus on my face, and gave me a crooked smile. She said she was fine, slurring her words a little.

I hope she made it to her connection all right but I get the feeling she ended up somewhere else. Maybe the wrong terminal, maybe the wrong city. Maybe she's wandering around Dulles runways at this very moment, terrified of the planes, taking more pills, getting more lost.

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