Over California: I just spotted my apartment building from 15,000 feet. I even like it from way up here. Okay, I admit - maybe the window seat is nice for take-off and landing.
Over Nevada: The young woman in front of me is fat and jolly. One of those folks you hope not to sit next to on a flight when you don’t feel like talking or being squeezed to death. I can see that she’s watching a DVD. Something tells me it’s not Fight Club. I take a genre guess. Romantic Comedy. I lean forward and peer over the seat to find Sweet Home Alabama playing.
Over Colorado: It came over the intercom suddenly and clearly. “Ladies and Gentlemen. If there is a Doctor or nurse on board, please press your call button.” This sends people into a mild frenzy. All the fake sleepers sit up. Headsets are removed. I look in front of me at all the little red lights above everyone’s seat. I’m lucky to be in the back of the plane. One light, two lights, three lights! A man slowly stands up and looks mildly annoyed, like this was an interruption to his viewing of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue he just picked up at the airport. A flight attendant moves quickly from the back with a first aid kit and joins the medical guy and they proceed forward, right through the curtain and into first class. The woman behind me snickers to her husband, “Ha! It’s someone in first class.” As If this classist woman believes someone in first class deserves a heart attack or something. Ten minutes later all seems to be okay. But I was nervous for those minutes in limbo. I mean, this is a direct flight that I went out of my way to purchase and the thought of an emergency landing is enough to make me lose my mind - especially because we’d probably have to land in Denver.
Over Colorado: Free food! The advertisement in my seat pocket suggest Sun Country Air was the 2007 “#1 Airline for Customer Satisfaction.” I bet it’s because people love getting the meal. Unexpected free food can drown out any sort of complaint. The guy to my right carefully takes his sandwich out of the plastic and places it neatly on his tray. And then he bows his head down and prays like this ham and cheese sandwich is the last meal he’ll ever eat. I imagine him offering up requests for the person in first class and maybe even for me, the scruffy cut up jeans guy to his left. He’s still praying when the attendant offers me the same sandwich. Unfortunately, the sight of cheese sends my stomach into mayhem. But I take it anyway and offer it to the woman in front of me.
Over Minnesota: I just finished several pages of
“Attention passengers. Please put your seat in the upright position and put all electronic devices away.”