Saturday, February 21, 2009

Permanent Jetlag

Two days ago, I was in Rome. Today, I'm in the deserted school library typing a report on drosophila melanogaster. My life makes me laugh sometimes.

I hate planes. I love the idea of flying, and I think it's amazing that the huge hunk of metal makes it into the air, over the sea, and across the world. But being stuck in a seat for seven hours with bad food and stale air makes my skin itch and my legs cramp, so I compensate with music. On planes I pick albums and listen to them the whole way through with no use of the skip button or shuffle. It allows me to devote all of my attention to them and sometimes forces me to give albums I didn't like a second listen. Which is what happened with Folie a Deux and illustrated my best plane story ever.

As I boarded in Boston, I threw my luggage overhead and gave an awkward smile to the boy in the window seat next to me, the "I don't know you but will be sitting next to you for the next seven hours" smile. He returned it. We ignored each other through takeoff. Then, he pulled out a book in Spanish. This made sense, seeing as we were going to Madrid. Of course the book I had packed to read on the plane was the Spanish version of Harry Potter that I bought in Madrid last summer, so I pulled it out as well. Then he took off his shoes (fair game on long plane rides) and I noticed the patterned socks peeking out from beneath his skinny jeans. Of course, there were star printed socks at the end of my own black skinny jean clad legs as well. The stewardess came and he talked to her in Spanish. I did the same, just because I love the language. I felt a little geeky pulling out my huge noise canceling headphones. Then he pulled out his. He said "perdoname" as he moved by me towards the aisle and I responded with "lo siento." I scribbled in my journal. He scribbled in his.

I met the boy version of me on a plane to Spain.

6 hours in, groggy and unable to sleep, the stewardess asked what he wanted to drink. "Water," he said. The stewardess turned to me. "Me too."

Neither of us were really Spanish. We were both wearing patterned socks and noise cancelers and carrying journals and Spanish books. We couldn't sleep on the plane and we'd both spent the entire flight not talking to each other because we assumed the other one spoke a different language.

"Who will I be when I wake up next to a stranger on a passenger plane?"
- 20 Dollar Nosebleed, Fall Out Boy

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