On Alaska Airlines flight #15, seat 30D, Oct. 6, 2005
“This is the flight deck, giving you an update on our progress. We’re just leaving North Dakota air space, heading into Montana. We’re still holding to our original estimate of arriving at the gate about ten minutes after nine o’clock.”
A night flight, the cabin lights are off, but I’m too wide awake to doze. The light over my seat doesn’t work, so I can’t fall back on reading. The couple to my right are in and out of sleep. The woman across the aisle and just in front of me has been typing constantly on her laptop since they brought dinner around. Dinner was hot sandwiches and apple slices encased in plastic. The girl, maybe ten years old, in the middle seat right in front of me is watching “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” on a portable DVD player. Two young women across the aisle are talking, but I find I can’t eavesdrop due to the jet noise:
“It’s like I was just [drowned out]…” “…so I was thinking [drowned out]…” “…I was like[drowned out]….”
The anesthetizing effect of a good murder mystery would help the boredom. Maybe I’ll try to doze, out of boredom.
Bits of a conversation from the woman with the midwestern accent and the man behind me:
“It’s a long flight, isn’t it?” “Yeah. Yeah, it is.” “Five and a half hours.” “You don’t think it’s that long, but it is.”
“Can I get out? –when you get a chance, it doesn’t have to be now.” This to the woman was has been typing constantly on her laptop, and she gets up to let the man in the middle seat get out. She’s not typing now, though, she’s playing a video game. “Ah, that’s important work you’re doing.” The woman with the laptop laughs, and the man continues, “I’m gonna stretch my back, it doesn’t do well in these –ahh!” as he stands up and stretches. He rocks back and forth and stands in the aisle.
I sit and stare in front of me. Too wide awake to doze again. I let my mind drift.
“We’re supposed to get in just after nine so it’s going to be,–” the woman with the laptop looks at her watch, “–another hour and twenty minutes.” This in response to the woman on her far left, sitting in the window seat. The man stretching his back is still standing in the aisle, rocking.
I let my mind drift.