Sunday, February 19, 2006     « Views from a Prop Plane (West Coast Somewhere) »


I don't enjoy flying on planes much. I almost always experience a tiny moment of sheer panic as the plane ascends and that life-sustaining bubble of denial is momentarily broken. Later in the flight I can stick my head against the window and pretend I'm looking at a giant, moving topographic map. Something about flying over the endless snow-capped Rocky Mountains terrified me. I kept imagining a plane crash on a snowy peak and living out the film Alive. I worried about the consequences of leaving my winter jacket in the overhead storage, and a future desperately surviving on the ass meat of fellow passengers.

We were pretty shocked to discover that the plane from Vancouver to Portland was a small prop plane -- but not as shocked as the guy across the aisle who spent the entire trip faced forward and sitting up rigidly straight, clutching his boarding pass like a miniature security blanket. I contemplated asking him if he was okay but was afraid I would break the trance that was keeping him just shy of the brink of a full-on freak-out in which he would rush the door threatening all of our lives, resulting in his being zapped with a stun gun to knock him into submission. Instead I thought it best to just leave him be.

« Views from a Prop Plane (West Coast Somewhere) »