Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taking Wing

Two Disclaimers: 
1. This is posted hours post-writing, and,
2.In the abstract, this post is entirely about in Uganda, if not in practical terms. Yet I did title this blog “Wandering Writes” with the intent of documenting ALL my traveling endeavors, across the globe and even merely down the Appalachian Mountains.  So here it is: my first official journey since beginning this blog.

I’m going home; Mount Holyoke is on spring break and I am currently sitting in the rationalized chaos that is Bradley International Airport. Much to my chagrin, both my flights are delayed. Fortunately for me, though, it could be much worse.

I could, you know, hate airports. Or be terrified of planes. Or have a wretched case of the flu. I have none of these things (knocks on wood). In fact, quite the contrary; I love airports, I love flying even more, and love my health (she writes while coughing…lovely).  I’ve been on planes since I was mere months old and have always loved that terrifying, jittering sensation you get as the beastly contraption rattles down the runway and begins to take wing.

There is nothing so magical to me as flying- I’ve wanted to get my pilot’s license since I was in the third grade and was Neil Armstrong for the Wax Museum. Last semester I wrote a twenty-page paper on the WASPs (not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, but the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, the division of the American Army Air Force in WWII. Badass women with cosmetics endorsements while ferrying planes and kicking butt) and, needless to say, have seen more Amelia Earhart bio-pics and documentaries than I care to confess.

I prefer window seats, especially in red eye flights. You watch the sun rise, high above the clouds, long before the sleepy little people below get to. The whole sky, so blinding, like you’ve gone into a world painted in gold and hues of red. When I was small I thought by sitting at the window I could look out and see angels lounging in their ethereal paradise, making music.

But in terms of earthly pleasures, you get free drinks (well, “free” in the loosest sense…) and have the opportunity to talk to strangers (even undertaking fake accents if you wish) and people-watch (my favorite part of airports).

I love imagining where people are going, coming from, thinking, dreaming, wishing. Airports are so rushed until you get to the waiting; you run and run and run through checking in and security and terminal-searching until finally you secure a small black seat and…wait. And wait. And wait.

It’s the waiting I find so intriguing; it’s weird, but in the way people wait you can learn so much about them (or imagine). Like the pensieve looking businessman next to me: maybe he has a secret love for space movies or enjoying jumping jacks more than any other kind of exercise. It’s not hard to derive what mother-on-the-run has got on her mind: Keep. The. Kids. Together.

It could be so much worse. I mean, it is raining and five p.m. so I’m pretty skeptical that there will be dazzling cloud havens to occupy my time once in the air, but you know. I’ll be home soon.

Whatever "home" means.

current jam: "barton hollow" the civil wars
best thing in my life right now: the firebolt, my car. and NOT paying for valley transporter to haul my sorry broke self to the airport.
days until (tentative) departure: 85

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