Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Words for Flying High and Coming Down

Hawk over Angels Gate, closest I can come to a flying image at the moment

This is a first for me -- a blog from 30,000 feet. In seat 22C on a Delta flight east, coming back to Flint from LA on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday. It's my first time to encounter WiFi in a jet. As I noted on FaceBook, I'm not sure if this is good or bad...usually, being free from email and other electronica for four hours in the air means that these trips, my many commutes, are times when I've started new writing projects and read books I'd long neglected. Another zone of solitude changed. Instead, I'm cramped up in my teensy seat, my elbows scrunched back against the inadequate cushion, the laptop on the tray table. Not an empty seat. They've finished beverage service and most people are asleep including, blessedly, the infant two rows up in 20F who bawled the whole way over the Rockies. I'd bawl too, actually -- tough way for a baby to spend four hours, not to mention her harried mommy and daddy.

And beverage service: let's see. Now we are told via not so kindly intercom that we can only have ONE packet -- peanuts, pretzels or cookies -- and we should be thinking about it ahead of time. We still get free juice, water or coffee, but the booze is $7. I learned long ago I'm better off not drinking up here in the high clouds, so I save myself that expense. But I studiously select a package of peanuts, issuing my decision quite responsibly when the old ladies (they're all close to my age these days) rumble the cart down the aisle. I buy a sandwich for $8 -- turkey, provolone and greens of some sort in an oversized bun. I shouldn't eat all of it, but I feel sorry for myself, trapped up here. No cash anymore: credit card only...so I have to twist myself around the tray table, dig my backpack out from under my seat with my feet, do a perverted yoga bend to unzip the outside pocket, pry out my wallet, get the ELGA debit card, and hand it over...the flight attendant slices it through a little holstered box and declares me paid. I ask for a couple of extra napkins to sop up the bad balsamic vinaigrette dressing and that is what I get -- exactly two flimsy leafs of napkin, as insubstantial as onion skin.

Oh, did I mention Ted got upgraded to First Class? So he's up there enjoying free everything, the bastid, stretched out in his capacious seat, wiping off the angst and sweat spreading like a cloud of Agent Orange from back here in steerage. Oh, no, the kid just woke up. She's not happy. I know why. My ears are telling me -- we're coming down. Coming down indeed.


The Cat Bastet said...

I think WiFi on the plane is cool! Sorry you were stuck in a crappy seat. Maybe next time you AND Ted can move to first class.

Macy Swain said...

Hi, Bastet -- I gotta check my comments more often...thanks for keeping track!