...Then I was happy to hear the boarding call for my flight.
“Now boarding Flight 1112, Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta, seats such and such through doodeedoo.”
I was doodeedoo.
Jova was silently sobbing now, asking me if I was sure I wanted to go back to that wench, begging me to change my mind, et fucking cetera.
Then they made the final call, so I had to get up. At this, she carelessly embraced me and we crashed lips and teeth. Dampening my face with her tears, sobbing ever harder now and digging her nails into my shoulders.
"I have to go. I'm sorry." said I, subtly trying to break free of her grip so as not to appear too anxious. She dug into her purse and pulled out that ___ and handed it to me.
"For luck." she said, "I love you."
I heard myself say something to her as I turned and walked toward the line of passengers waiting to board the metal bird. The words reverberated as if I were three miles away, yet the meaning was dry and clear.
She stood watching me, last in line of course, taking 3 or 4 steps at a time until I disappeared into the gangway, that long lonely tunnel to doom.
I held the ___ in my hand, and was now faced with an awkward dilemma; here I have a token of “luck” from one of the most unlucky people I’ve met. Holding a luck oriented charm from her AND boarding a plane seemed to me insanity. On top of that, she never specified what kind of luck it was supposed to bring me on my 33,000 foot high journey. But if I throw it away - not that there is a place to discard it 'tween here and the metal bird - the energy I spent on that may just make it a bad luck "charm". So now I'm fucked, even if I disposed of it in the garbage on the plane, it would still be on the plane!
My thoughts were happily broken by the sudden stop of the line. Nervous. Everything gets my guts nervous when I must board a hunk of aluminium scheduled to hurl itself through the air.
Standing in the tube. People in front of me mumble. An instant feeling of loneliness. People everywhere, yet I have never felt so alone in all my days. What a typical thought, I thought.
Suddenly, the urge to turn on my heel and pelle melle it out of this creepy hallway came upon me. Not back to Jova. No, I'd hide in the seats among the other doomed passengers until I was sure she was in her car and on her way home. Then I'd catch the shuttle to the train and go straight to Jenna's Bar and slide right back into the same old thing. Ah, the same old thing! There truly is something to be said for it. Like an unwashed stinky old pillow, it is comfort.
But at length, the trudge of the damned continued into the metal bird, dragging me along with it like a gentle, fatal current.
I saw the door of the beast and my stomach dropped. I almost succumbed to my earlier desire to run like hell, but I knew she'd still be there, just in case I changed my mind. She would watch the plane take off and disappear into the fucking blue yonder with a tear in her eye and a poison butterfly in her gut. She would wait just to make sure I actually got on the plane.
So again I didn't run. But I did toss that ___ through the space between the plane and the gangway before I boarded. And as it fell clicking on the tarmac, I had the swelling feeling of poison-sweet relief. Relief.
I passed the bared teeth of the stewardess, walked past the captain cramped in that tiny cockpit for two, past the blatantly gay steward and past the seats of drones like me, too poor to afford a real airline.
I put my one duffel bag of luggage into the top compartment - only one duffel bag, for I knew in my heart it would be a brief stay - and took my windowless window seat.
Absently regarding the stewardess’ safety dance, I thought of how my face must have looked when I said those last words to Jova: "I hope I'm not doing something really stupid."
From AND OTHER TIRADES
Copyright ©2006 CHRIS G SIMMONS