Tuesday, September 29, 2009

actually, no one crashed. weird...

Most of my life and certainly whenever possible, I sit next to my brother on airplanes because, as he puts it, he's the only one who knows how to handle me.
I'm a nervous flier. It's a flaw I've developed in adulthood. I don't remember being so freaked out as a child. I regarded airplanes as exciting and glamorous. Now, I tend to look at them as coffins.
Anyway, Melissa learned this about me the hard way on our flights to and fro Vancouver. Getting there was one thing. We were excited, she found my superstitious boarding rituals funny, our flight was so early, we were halfway there before I was fully awake. The trip home was another story.
We moved our flight up as there was no sense hanging out in the Vancouver Airport for 9 (yeah, nine) hours. As we booked the change at the front desk, Melissa looked over and asked, "You okay with this?"
"Yeah, yeah." I nervously replied. "It's just...you know, destiny."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, we're starting to fuck with destiny. It's stupid, I know. But moving flights around turns us into one of those cautionary tales where if we'd only been on our original flight..."
"Oh my God."
We still switched our flights but my neurosis had been awakened. I was nervous, antsy, looking for signs. Everything became like the beginning of Final Destination.
My fight with the customs agent who accused me of loitering? Sign.
The endless metal detector line with the trainee security guard? Sign.
The fact that we were miraculously sitting in an emergency aisle. Oh dear God.
Melissa looked at me with delight as we found our seats. "Check it out! Leg room!"
"You don't find it the least bit odd that we switched flights at the last minute on this packed airplane and have two seats together in the highly popular, much requested EMERGENCY aisle, which we did even ask for?"
She rubbed my shoulder and wisely turned on her iPod as she said, "No, psycho. I don't."
The plane took off and I looked out the window. So long, world. I hope my family is able to go on. My friends might never laugh again but maybe they're form some scholarship in my honor, the recipients never knowing or caring who the hell I was. All because we didn't want to lounge around in a gorgeous Canadian metropolis for a mere day, one of many we'd have left, if only...
I tuned into AirCanada's fabulous television service and chuckled my way through three old episodes of 30 Rock, a glorious distraction. 2 hours later, we were about to touchdown in San Francisco. As the wheels of the plane graced ground, Mel looked at me and smiled. "We made it, Bethy!"
"Unless an airplane runs into us on the runway, like the Pan Am/KLM crash in the Canary Islands.*"
"Jesus, you're insane."
"Okay." I said. "We survived. So you know what that means? Our original flight is going to smash into a mountain. Mark my words."
Melissa rolled her eyes, grabbed our bags and sighed, "I have a new appreciation for your brother."

*My psychosis does have it's benefits. The reason we won the Bonus Round of Cruise Ship Trivia (answer: Canary Islands) is because I'm all about the Canary Islands due to the Pan Am/KLM crash. So, uh, you're welcome...


Patricia Appelquist said...

Yeah, uh, Beth, I am sorry but, you didn't check for Earthquakes, Floods, and the upcoming Robert Emmerlich film sneak preview totally signs...

of what? I have no freaking clue.

Anonymous said...