Friday, July 8, 2011

airplanes

It was the night that he went missing and you called me at 2 a.m., high on legal grade ex, spewing out your heart to me, telling me that you wanted to be with me, that I was what made you sane, asking if I was willing to give you another try. I whispered that I'd think about it and tell you in the morning and hesitantly whispered I love you after you so easily said it first. I couldn't go to sleep after that and so I looked outside, hand lifting my head toward the windowsill, wondering how your body would feel next to mine, how your lips would taste, how my hands would curve around your breasts, hips, and legs. I decided I would very much like to know those parts of you and to explore you with all my senses, but that was not the problem that kept me awake. Neither was it that I was almost positively sure that a relationship would you would end up deep in the ground, like the first and the second and the third times had. 

It was the lack of airplanes in the sky. Every night for the past two weeks I had been here in this faraway state in which strangers would look at me strangely as I sang along to my iPod, walking the streets in the scorching heat at midday. The days were filled with constantly checking my internet sites, and reading, and writing, and going out to bring in the mail while looking out at the street, where rabbits hopped in real (not that synthetic, scratchy shit we had back home), soft grass. The nights though, were filled with staring up at the ceiling, listening to classic rock and dubstep, naked underneath the covers, watching the airplanes cross the sky every several minutes. 

I've never felt more safe than when I'm in an airplane, flying alone to some destination several hours away. Whether it's only two or twelve hours, the flying behemoth is my sanctuary for that duration of time. In the middle of the sky, suspended between time zones and countries, only clouds so sculpted you'd think they could hold you up above and beneath you, there's a certain peace that you feel deep within you. Your worries, your fears, your hopes, your thoughts all melt away as your brain switches off and you listen to music, read a book, watch a movie, eat airplane food. Even if you talk to the one sitting beside you, the conversation is simple, for you know you will probably never see that person again in several hours. You are truly alone in that tiny, cramped space that you have to call your own, near the window aisle or stuck in the middle between a crying baby and an obese person. But that seat, small as it is, is your own for these few moments and you claim it, fight off the screams of the child and the sprawling flesh and you come up, victorious, sweating and annoyed, filling your seat and leaning back your chair to avoid forehead contact with the one in front of you. It is the only place where I can truly meditate, legs crossed, watching Fight Club, or listening to Bob Dylan drone about basements and medicine. In those hours, nobody and nothing matters, not even I matter and the world is all right once again. 

And so, that night, straining my ears and eyes for the flickering lights and rumble, I knew, in the pit of my stomach, that I would not hear from him in a while and sighing, I texted you OK, and crossed my arms, waiting for the Sandman to pour his grains over my body and let me in peace.

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