Across the small aisle of the Boeing 747, an overweight man in black sits. He wears an ipod with huge BOSE headphones, and a woman, who I assume is his wife, clings to his hand with fushia colored nails. The man chews contentedly on his one ounce serving of peanuts, heavily lidded eyes dozing, gentle as a cow chewing cud. His tan jowls move slowly as he gazes forward toward a universe only he is privy to.
* * * * * *
When I spy a Starbucks just outside my gate, I quickly run up to the barista, debit card in hand.
"Triple venti skinny vanilla latte please," sputter. My regular.
She looks at me. Venti? Extra large? with a triple shot...before a four-hour flight?
I later regret my decision. With lots of turbulence, the fasten seatbelt sign comes on and stays on for the first two hours of the flight. I squirm, then finally bust out of my seat like a breathless swimmer gasping for air. I bob down the isle as the plane dances through the clouds, heading for the restroom.
The stewardess eyes me with disapproval.
"Is it okay?" I ask meekly, though hand already on the knob of the lavatory.
"It's at your own risk because the 'fasten seatbelt' sign is still on," she says condescendingly.
Bathrooms on planes amaze me. Flushing the toilet, a gust of wind rises up from God knows where so strong it blows all paper products in the little room around wildly. And everything is micro: tiny waste basket, tiny soap dispenser, tiny mirror. I head back to my seat dutifully, relieved.
* * * * * * *
I want to be a bush pilot in Alaska.
I want to climb Mount McKinley & pack in Denali
I want to be a white water guide in the summer and a dogsled guide in the winter.
I want to write.
I want to teach my kids how beautiful and expansive and amazing life is...teach them how to track animals and fish and learn from the land.
* * * * * *
Flying over the Grand Canyon, the Colorado river looks like an aquamarine serpent slithering through the desert. The Las Vegas airport looks and sounds like a casino. Who thought to put a mecca of this stature in the middle of a desert? It's all decadence and sin. And noise.