Flying

April 10, 2012
I was raised in the sky
In a hundred different airplanes
Going from one home to another
Being traded back and forth
Like a tennis ball, hit from court to court

Those dismal, patterned carpets and
Rows of old leather chairs that
I sat huddled in because it was always cold
Were like a home to me
I loved it, I hated it

Running across that carpet
Trying to make up for lost time
Laying on the floor, on the chairs
Crying, laughing
Waiting for that airplane that would take me home
Playing card games
I hated 52-card pick-up
I ate Sprite and Kit-Kats
Chicken fingers when I was told, “No more junk food.”
I was only waiting for that airplane
Waiting to hear the voice over the intercom call out,
“We will begin boarding flight #612 to Indianapolis, Indiana shortly.”

They took my ticket and ripped it in half-
I always save my half-
They usually look the same
Except
Sometimes, they havee a different colored ink
Maybe a watermark behind “Flight #612, gate B-62”
Some are printed on regular paper
Instead of the thicker, cream-colored stuff
That turns yellow with age
As it hangs on my wall
Next to every other ticket stub

When I was little,
I always wanted the window
So that I could stare at the seemingly endless miles of land
The perfect squares of farm land,
Staggering mountains that created deep valleys
The moving, white-frosted shores of the ocean

I was always with my Mom or Dad
But when I flew by myself for the first time
I nervously read the safety pamphlet
And watched the flight attendant go through the safety precautions
Despite that I had heard the speech so many times
I probably knew it better than she did
I tried to do everything everyone else was doing
With the hopes that I would feel alright
I suddenly doubted the wings
That had carried me all my life
In a way, I still felt safe though
As I sat in that seat, crying

There was bad weather
5-hour-delay bad weather
The-entire-plane-is-shaking bad weather
Fog-so-thick-you-can’t-land bad weather
Then the clear, bright sky
As the time passed, watching the blinding sun set
And turn into my favorite scene:
A mass of black, only interrupted by the occasional light
When you flew over cities,
They were a bright, multi-colored contrast to the empty black
I never wanted to sleep at night
It was my favorite time to fly

I don’t havee wings
But I’ve been flying my whole life
Every airplane was the place I grew up in
Was a home to me





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