The Fear at Forty Thousand Feet
This past weekend I went on a pure-fun, no-holds-barred, I'm-beggin'-for-Scaries trip to Chicago. In between drinking 400 Miller Lites / 100 all-you-can-drink sake bombs / POUNDING long fuckin' hot bro drives at a golf bar called "Fairways", the weekend went by in the typical blur fashion that I knew it would be before arriving. But then at 5pm Sunday afternoon, there I sat in airport terminal. Scared but not too Scared, not dead but certainly not alive.
Now let me say this - I'm about to say the words "private" and "flight" together in a sentence, which will immediately prompt the question, "What kind of bougie ass shit are you on?" Well, this private flight was actually free but had I paid for it in full, it would have run me $400. I'm not Brody fucking Jenner.
But, anyway, there I sat on my first flight to Detroit, which would lead to my second flight to my final destination.
Twenty of us boarded the private flight and it was about 100 times less nerve-racking than the first flight that I took to Chicago, which was in the face of 50 mph winds and severe whiteouts. (But seriously, I didn't even fear death on the takeoff because I thought it was just inevitable.) Instead, this particular flight had a colorful background over Chicago that would make even Superman Ice Cream think, "Damn, that shit's flamboyant."
Because I had packed my bag in 120 seconds or less prior to my flight (and accidentally only packed one article of clothing that wasn't navy blue), I also forgot my headphones. Reading in solitude was the only option next to having a conversation with the thoughts that were screaming in my head.
The dudes next to me saw me download the iTunes Newsstand version of the most recent New York Magazine. Yup, the "Spring Fashion Issue." This lead one of them to come-out-of-the-closet-while-not-directly-coming-out by saying, "Oh. My. God. How great is that issue?" I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm just a fuckin' tastemaker renaissance man who refused to buy Golf Magazine online when its already on my bed-stand at home. I told him, "Excited to read it" which he probably didn't hear because he was deafened by the smell of sake bombs emanating from me.
We took off and we landed. My head was in the right place. I Instagrammed a baller photo that somehow only like 8 people liked. Then, God reared his head at me and the stewardess injected me with a heavy dose of Sunday Scaries -
"We do have one person flying to our final destination, so please remain on the plane while everyone gets off and we fuel up."
"Uhhhhhhh, what?" I thought to myself. "I'm going to be the only person on the plane?"
Yup. Everyone walked off and I "remained" on the plane, but switch the word "remain" to "sat there cold-shaking while the sun went down and left me in a pitch black cabin with no one else around" and that will sound more accurate. After a solid 20 minutes, the stewardess finally got back onboard and said, "I'm not going through that whole pre-flight spiel again, we good?" Yeah, toots, thanks for the awesome bedside manner. I appreciate your professionalism.
The plane took off and a laundry list of things started happening.
- It was like the pilot had a switchboard where he would blast heat for 5 minutes, then open windows allowing the 40,000 foot biting cold to get in.
- I spilled my Bloody Mary mix (no voddy, whatever) on the seat next to me and didn't tell anyone. They would eventually find out and know it was me, so why embarrass myself directly by peacocking that I did it myself?
- EXTREME Michigan-weather-driven turbulence mid-flight gave me anxiety-ridden thoughts like, "I actually think I'm dying for the second time this weekend" and "At least if I die, I'm alone on a private flight. That's pretty fucking Kennedy and baller."
- Those thoughts were then countered by, "Oh my god, if I die alone on a plane, will people mourn this or will they celebrate it as a small victory because the flight wasn't full?"
- Because the cabin was so fucking dark, my eyes were having trouble adjusting between the light of my iPad (#fashionissue) and seeing where the stewardess was. I wouldn't be able to hear her coming because of the flight noise, and I didn't want her to startle me by walking up and seeing the spilled Bloody Mary, so I kept trying to keep a mental locale on her. I'd look over in the aisle and mid-eye-adjustment, I'd see a figment of my own imagination and think she was RIGHT next to me. But nope, just my vision adjusting. Visual fucking Scaries on a hundred thousand million billion trillion. Turns out she wouldn't leave her seat once after giving me the Bloody and I was doing a stakeout on her for no reason.
She yelled to me, "LANDING IN FIVE." Again, her professionalism? Unprecedented.
When we touched down, I grabbed my bag from off the seat in front of me, walked off the plane, slipped on the ice on the runway, fell on my back, blacked out with rage, and just came to 40 minutes ago at breakfast when I started writing this.