Last month, I nestled into seat 1A from Anchorage to Seattle, pulled my gray knit beanie over my eyes, and fell asleep to the muffled sound of airplane blocked by my headphones that play nothing. On Tuesday, I will do it again.
Before I took off in January, I wrote this:
This used to be thrilling. The burn in my eyes from the midnight oil, the perusing of security lines, the gleaming anticipation of a trip. My eyes still burn, begging for sleep. I got TSA pre-check last year. And anticipation has become dread: I know where I’m going and what I’m doing and the thrill is gone. My body is here in absentia for my bliss – things lost along the way, though my bags always seem to make it.
Still, I enjoy the warmer parts of empty life: first class upgrades, free luggage, mileage and mileage. I know someday I will miss them. The whirr of recycled air reminds me I’m home. When my nose dries up at cruising altitude, I will crank my neck into a window I will not look out of, finding comfort in the space between myself and the earth below. On the ground, things are much more complicated.
I count my blessings. I know others would kill for this life. And I would kill for theirs. Because while 1A is comfy and my legs can stretch their length, it’s as lonely as both its number and letter.