The lilting hum of an engine is making the floor of this airplane tremble. I got lucky and snagged a window seat – 24F, crammed towards the back, and Boston is a shimmering kaleidoscope 30 thousand feet below. It’s a sea of lights, softly blinking hollowed auburn light, cut apart by ponds of black which mark the stretches of water and the writhing tail of the Charles river. I’m sitting here, a gentle creature with her earbuds in, and I am really regretting drinking coffee before getting on the plane because now I definitely have to pee, and I definitely have two hours left on the plane, and I am definitely not into the idea of waking up the two people between me and the bathroom.
When I was a kid, I loved airports. They were the epitome of adventure – the whole process, taking your shoes off at security, following the signs to your gate, clenching the arm rest when the airplane took off, your breath hitching and stomach dropping when you dove into the air. Truth be told, I was baffled about how airports actually worked until this year. Because, I mean, this year I had to actually figure it out. I couldn’t cling to my mom’s arm, or follow my dad with my earbuds in. I had to be able to get from Boone to Boston, and I had to be able to do it by myself. That meant figuring out what my terminal was, where it was, monitoring the gate changes, dealing with delays, all that good stuff. Now, though, I’ve made it onto the plane. It looks like I’m getting the hang of things.
Update on the bladder situation: Oh dear God, turbulence is ungodly when you have to pee.
I studied abroad when I was a freshmen in high school, all the way across the planet in Christchurch, New Zealand. Whenever I’m on an airplane, I can’t help but think about that time in my life. That was during my pixie-cut and braces stage, when I listened exclusively to emo pop-punk music and wrote the worst poetry of my career. Ha! Good times. The voyage to New Zealand set my record for time spent on planes/in airports: an entire forty-eight hours. Yeah. Two days of either being on a plane or sitting in an airport. It was metal.
Update on the bladder situation: One of the flight attendants rolled their cart to our row and asked if I wanted a drink. Some apple juice? Coke? Water? I looked at her with absolute death in my eyes. I said “No thanks” with my mouth but screamed “HELP ME” with my eyes. She kept rolling her cart.
The provided entertainment is a documentary about something. That’s about all I can tell. The screens hang over every other seat, blasting light through the crowded airplane. I think it’s about a married couple? Or a family, or something? There are two people being interviewed, their names fuzzy at the bottom of the screen. Both are wearing cowboy hats. Neither of them look happy.
Update on the bladder situation: The scenario is becoming dire. I have forgotten what it was like to live without an organ attempting to murder you. My fellow row members are sleeping peacefully. They have no idea I am about to die.
In the spirit of telling you things you probably do not want to hear, behold the list of songs I have been blasting since the start of this plane ride: Northern Downpour by Panic! at the Disco, Cut My Lip by Twenty One Pilots, and Sex by the 1975. Sorry, did I imply my emo phase began and ended freshmen year? Whoops. Because nope, I’m 100% obsessed with all of those bands.
Update on the bladder situation: I am beginning to question my own sanity. The time has come to consider breaking the window and hurling myself out of it in order to attain a bathroom without waking up the passengers next to me. These are trying times.
I love the way the city looks from up high. If I focus on it, I focus less on the iced coffee which filled my bladder and ruined my life. Okay! Okay, I know, I’ll chill with the pee talk. I swear I’m mostly joking. Anyway, things are beautiful up here. I’m so excited to see Boone again, for the first time since I moved to Boston. I’ll finally get to see my family, and snuggle my cat, and re-introduce myself to the mountains. The mountains! God, I’ve missed the mountains. I can see it now. When I get home, I’ll drive out to the parkway. I’ll stand at the edge of an overlook, arms open to the blue ridge, and I’ll be like, “Hi! Remember me?” and the trees will sway and creak, bare boned in the autumn, and the mountains won’t respond, angry with me for leaving, and so I’ll answer for them, I’ll shout: “Me neither!”
yours in haste,
kelsey day is a young award winning poet who grew up in the blue mountains of north carolina. she has received recognition for a collection of short stories, as well as two novels she published at the ages of 11 and 13. today she is studying creative writing in boston, massachusetts.