home again, home again, jiggity jig.
my seat mate is a shy looking preteen who smells horrendous, but it's alright because he can't help it. in front of me is a man in a very official looking air canada uniform, who keeps boisterously guffawing at bohemian rhapsody. he can help it, so i am less sympathetic. except i'm also glad he's there, because every time the plane dips into what i once heard described as 'possession pockets' (sudden dramatic dips along the cruise wherein one involuntarily starts uttering religiously-associated expletives), he doesn't look up from his little tv screen or stop chomping on his gum, so i know we'll be alright. i think for a minute that maybe he is just a really kind and relaxed man who dresses up like a pilot out of the goodness of his heart; for the sole purpose of keeping the rest of us at ease. and then i assure myself of it. i hold onto that thought, because it makes the fact that he audibly burps 13 times during the 3.5 hour flight bearable. thank you for being here, mr. dress up. thank you for keeping us all calm. and thank you, most of all, for not being a real pilot.
"jesus fuck!" the woman who keeps getting up even though the seatbelt sign is on screams. we have just dipped into another possession pocket. the 11th or 12th of the hour. but this time, nobody looks around at anyone else, because we have all fallen asleep. it's the preteen's doing. plus all the little air vents that are stuck on 'open'. each little air vent above each little seat.
sleep, sleep, i imagine the preteen saying, right before it happens.
he raises his arms, and all at once, our possession pocket bursts at the seams with preteen putridity. a poppy-filled field of a plane. a stench that, thanks to all the great air circulation, overtakes the lot of us.
"jesus fuck!" the woman screams, and we all drift.
as i sleep/am knocked out from extreme 14 year-old body odour, i dream of lions and scarecrows . tin cans, too. tin cans full of smoked mussels, which do not only exist in st. john's, although it it is the only place i eat them.
we continue to hurtle through the sky, all muscles in a giant tin can. soon the snow comes, and we reach the emerald city: the runway at pearson international airport. the teen toddles off the plane, and we all gradually open our eyes.
we are monkeys marching toward our luggage, just back from somewhere over the rainbow. i look down at my feet as i walk. they are on the ground. 'there's no place like home!' i think, grateful to have one, before throwing up all over someone else's red sparkly shoes.