Mile High

Suspended.

All the world stops for ten full seconds as a machine forges a path above the clouds. One inch off and a hundred and thirty seven people could die.

My mom hates flying. She gets nervous when I fly and has always prohibited me from doing two things: skydiving and becoming a pilot.

Of course, I love it. There is an uncertainty and tangibility that it gives. stock-footage-aircraft-taking-off-the-runway-filmed-from-commercial-jet-airplane-window

As a plane gears up to take off people babble over one another, phones chime off, and stewardesses try to communicate the age old seatbelt-exit-mask-life jacket speech. I think if there was an emergency, everyone would realize they had taken it for granted for so long that they would forget that the life jacket was under their seat and not in the overhead bin.

To me it is like some new Tower of Babble, man once again finding their own way to heaven and bringing themselves glory. Wasn’t that what the Cold War was? Two Sumerias outdistancing one another in trying to build the biggest, fastest, strongest way to out gun the other.

There is one moment of silence on a plane when Catholics cross themselves, the phobic take a Vallium, and the rest stare at the back of the seat in front of them hoping the twin two year olds they saw board don’t scream the whole time. Then the whole plane lurches down the runway, the world tilts and turns until it reaches a steady ten thousand feet where life goes on.

-W

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