Plane Part Deux

The best thing to do after a 9-hour flight and 12 hours traveling? Get on another plane.

I called my mom during my layover and reported that I hadn’t slept, and wasn’t planning on it during the next leg. That way, I’d arrive in the San Francisco airport ready to sleep off the journey.

Ten minutes into the five-hour transcontinental flight, my head hit the tray table and I fell fast asleep.

I woke to the crackling speaker and the captain’s voice “…landing in San Francisco, about 11:30 pm local time.”

What? I’d slept through the whole flight? Oh glorious day!

I decided to make a celebratory trip to the bathroom to stretch my aching muscles before they turned on the seatbelt sign and prepared the cabin for landing. While I waited for the little indicator light to turn green and vacant, I asked the woman behind me if she knew how long it would be until we landed.

“Well, he said 11:30, so however long it is from now until 11:30, I guess,” she hazarded.

“Yeah…I just don’t know what time it is…” In other words, your response is entirely useless.

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constriction

a dull throb at the back of my neck
               urging my head to topple right off
a glass bubble in the small of my back
               waiting to burst into slashing shards
an ache under my skin
               pulsing to the rhythm wrong, wrong
a feeling of otherness
               making me wish the separation was complete

my short legs unwieldy like a newborn foal’s
               my head heavy as a stone
my small frame freakishly gargantuan
               in the body that was once a home

cheeks flushed
               eyes bloodshot
face puffy
               flesh swollen
fingers brittle
               waiting to break
a pain behind the eyes
               that no sleep can relieve

I wish I could escape,
I wish I could be free:

curling my toes
               tucking my legs
hugging my arms
               bowing my head

sinking inward
               closer, smaller
until I just
               disappear