i am always most grounded in the sky, where the only world there is is the one i'm in. this is not often the case for me. my world on the ground consists of many. an array of different worlds at any given time. my world on the ground consists of worlds wherein i am right, worlds wherein i am wrong and worlds wherein one day i might not procrastinate so much, and then what??? my world consists of worlds of good intentions that often unfurl into nothing intentional, worlds of knowledge about how much more i should know, and worlds of desire to go to the doctor for a routine checkup, even though i am too scared to book an appointment. sometimes my world on the ground consists of worlds wherein everyone is nice but murder is also allowed, and gillian anderson and i are the same person but maybe also part-time lovers. on a plane though, there is only one world, and it is such a nice reprieve! it is a giant-tin-can of a world, packed with mostly randomly-selected humans, all hurtling through the atmosphere together. thrown, by some strong arm of science and adventure, into the ether, potentially towards a fiery death. and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. it is the most comforting!
it is a world wherein the man beside me eats three sandwiches, one after the other, and i am not concerned. i am not wondering how the man is so thin and so full of bread at the same time. not until i am back on the ground, anyway, where all the worlds of worry trample back into my brain like hordes of people racing towards the exact same spot for their luggage. no, no. in this temporary world, the rules are different. i too could eat my weight in mortadella and not gain a pound. does anybody really know what mortadella is? it doesn't matter! up here it does not matter, because up here there is no why or how. there is only what. and what the very adorable, very annoying child on the other side of me is doing, is conquering sudoku, even though she does not know how to play. so i could too. i do not need to know how to play to win, in this world. and i could be my full annoying self too, because here, it turns out, i am also cute.
the best part of all of it, is that every time i re-enter the sky, the world changes. it is still only one world, but it is a different one every time. sometimes my mom or best friend or partner exists, and sometimes they do not. sometimes it is just me, and perhaps that person i did some work with once or ran into a couple times at the grocery store. i always thought they had great style, which i have never told them, but i might today. sometimes there is a screaming baby - a good reminder to never have one. once in a while, there is a hairdresser, who is not allowed to bring her scissors on the plane. every so often there is someone i hate just because. their voice grates on my ear drums or their movie choice is obnoxious. or maybe they eat their own snot. but "it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round," memere used to say. and i want the world to go ‘round, so i am calm. i am at peace. because once i'm in the air, my hands are tied (with free drinks and sometimes food). once i'm in the air, the stale carbon dioxide mixed with oxygen is the freshest i've felt and the freshest i'll feel until i am here again, moving on pause.