On change, or I hope no one has to fly after reading this.
I sit here in a taxiing plane, on a runway in the middle of the tan and blue Desert on a warm Easter day. I sit here all 6 foot 7 inches crammed into an uncomfortable airplane seat made, at most, for someone 6 inches shorter. This doll's chair is the latest reminder that I am an outsider in a world that never anticipated my big ass; a Giant in a land that was not built for Giants. Like Gulliver in Lilliput, but I deal with it with more grace. I am sweating onto blue faux full grain leather that so many other people have sweated onto. I am breathing in strangers exhales, and unsavory unfamiliar smells. As travel goes, I've had better. It is uncomfortable, but is not all change uncomfortable?
1 in 4 of the people on this plane are terrified to be here, but I am not. 1 in 4 people probably smoked a cigarette, or a joint, or popped a xanax (or 2), or binge drank, but I didn't. I binge drink for lots of reasons, but rarely for fear. I am thrilled to be smushed into this aisle with four strangers, like an giant octopus compressed into a mason jar. No seriously, I'm used to discomfort, to change. It's a way of life. My muscles are tensed in anticipation of the cathartic lurching, the back cracking sensation of rocketing into take off; the sweet delta-v, the mathematical expression representing change. When we're airborne, I'm going to finish The Dark Tower series, even though I decided that Stephen King is a hack 3 books ago, and even though I decided that I hate Roland Deschain and his ever morphing quest after book 2, because just like anyone who won't leave a spouse they hate, or commit to a person they love, or start a business of which they have dreamed, or go back to school, I have a shameful addiction to inertia.
271 people died in plane crashes last year around the world, but it was still one of the safest years to fly in human history. You're most likely to crash during takeoff and landing, when the tolerances are tighter, the second chances non-existent. If you're going down, you're very likely to be crushed to pink meat and bone paste if you are in the front 1/3 of an airplane, where it (and you) crumple on impact to slow the it down for everyone else. The pilots are at the front of all of that, so don't worry about their performing, because they don't want to fuck this up either. The world would be a better place if everyone tried as hard as pilots to get things right the first time.
A fiery plane crash is a God damned efficient way to die. It's not that I want to die (any more than I strictly speaking wanted to be born 31 years, 1 month and 16 days ago), it's just that we're all going to die, and I'd as soon experience that in fast forward (flying this big, winged bitch into a rose granite cliff face), than face a slow and painful march into black Oblivion, if that's my alternative. A roaring boom, a quick red flash as my head hits the bulkhead (or the window, or whatever) and then nothing ever again, except the great unknown, and maybe the possibility of some truly perspective shattering change. I am sure it would be uncomfortable, but is not all change uncomfortable?
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