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Gripping tightly to the arm rest with my eyes closed, I feel my body begin to shake. Oh Lord, it’s time to go. I open my left eye ever so slightly to observe the large woman next to me fussing with her son’s seatbelt. The boy is squirming, squealing, resisting– doesn’t this stupid cow understand that her kid is afraid? As the plane picks up speed, I attempt to shut out all sensory indications that I am about to be launched airborne. My legs cease cramping from the lack of space; the nauseating scent of reheated lasagna disappears and the popping sensation in my ears becomes less noticeable. I’ve nearly convinced myself that I’m at home relaxing on my couch when my stomach dips as though it is falling into my kneecaps. But there is method to my madness, as they say.

I look around for an outlet to distract me – something, anything to take me away from inside this tomb of lingering death. To my right is a small, oval window with the beige cover that I had wisely pulled down prior to take off. Instead of feeling comforted by the appearance of this cover, all I can think about is what lies beyond it. If the covering flies off and the glass behind it disintegrates, I will surely be sucked out to meet my grave below while the friendly clouds wave “bye bye!” to my flailing body. Did someone turn up the heat in here?

Taking a deep breath, I turn to my left once again to discover the obese woman eating her helping of what I hope to be lasagna. I watch the way her arm jiggles as she tries to cut it and the sheer satisfaction she attempts to conceal after each bite. Without moving my head, I look down at the mess of sauce and noodles before my eyes. My stomach groans as if to say, “Eat it! Just eat it!” As I am about to put a sliver of meat and pasta into my mouth, sweat begins to accumulate on my forehead and I have that familiar mouth-watering sensation I tend to get when I am about to be sick. Before the woman is able to take another bite, I am jumping over her legs, leap-frog-style, to get to the bathroom.

Shoving the petite blonde flight attendant into the seat across from me, I sprint as fast as one possibly can in turbulent weather when the seatbelt sign is on. I lock myself in the stall and allow the toast I had for breakfast to magically reappear in the waterless toilet bowl beneath me. A few disturbing retches later and I am rubbing my temples, asking myself…why? For the remainder of the flight, I wear my sweater over my face with my eyes closed.

Nearly three hours later, I am standing in the airport at my destination. Fumbling with the keys in my pocket, I turn around three times before my eyes land on the reason I bought my ticket. She is wearing the pink jacket I bought her last Christmas. Stumbling towards me with her small arms outstretched, she cries:

“Daddy!”

There’s my method! Just like that, I am flying again.



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