Paul on the Plane
By Joshua James
Paul seated on a plane. He speaks to the MAN seated next to him.
You okay? You look a little, you know. A little queasy. Afraid of flying? Its okay, perfectly normal, most folks are. Were thousands of feet in the air, who wouldnt be a little concerned, right?
The plane hits some turbulence, rocking them both.
Whoa, that was a rough one, wasnt it? You okay? Just turbulence, thats all.
A lot of people are afraid of flying, arent they? Seems pretty common. Its always struck me as funny, folks saying that they are afraid of flying because when you think about it, its not the flying part of the process thats frightening, its the possibility that at some point in the process, maybe even mid-flight, the possibility that you might find yourself on a plane that is suddenly NOT flying, only falling. Thats the scary part, the falling is the scary part.
Im not, myself. Afraid of flying, I mean. I think the reason Im not afraid of flying is because the first I ever flew in a plane was when I was going through my suicidal phase, so there wasnt really anything to be scared of. The only thing I was scared of at the time was killing myself, so getting on a plane was something of a relief, because if the plane blew up, BING BANG BOOM, suddenly I no longer have to worry about either suicide or life, its out of my hands. Taken care of. Great time to start flying, when youre suicidal. It was the most relaxed Id been in years.
Ive grown past my suicidal tendencies, but luckily Im still not afraid to fly.
Kind of a bouncy flight today, isnt it? I kind of like flying, myself. Actually, I really like it. I find that flying is a good time to contemplate death.
I mean, why not, right? Comtemplating death is a good thing. It could happen at any time, so why not think seriously about it? What else is there to do on a plane? The movies always suck, there is never anything to do once youve plowed through your magazines and dont get me started on the food they serve here. Its poison. You ever think about death? I do. I think about it a lot. I dont think enough people think about it, I mean really think about it. Consider it, for a moment. That is the one true link we all share with each other, the one thing you know for certain will happen is that you and I, someday we will die. We will close our eyes and existence as we know it will cease. Or maybe we WONT close our eyes, maybe we pop off with our eyes open, that happens, it happens, right?
Heres a thought, this is a great thought, see that exit door over there? If you were to open that door and jump out with no parachute, right now, three thousand feet over Wyoming, that means youd have a good two or three minutes to think about things before you landed. Now then. What do you think would be going through your mind before you hit the ground?
That reminds me of a joke my Grandpa would always ask us kids, hed go, "Whats the last thing that goes through a mosquitos mind right when it hits your car windshield?" "What Grandpa?" wed ask, and hed say "His Ass!" And he would slap his knee and laugh and laugh.
Grandpas dead now, drank a little too much Wild Turkey one night while driving and hit a telephone pole. Wasnt wearing his seatbelt, went right through his windshield. I really think that hed find that terribly amusing.
Now seriously, what do you think is going to happen once you die? Any idea? Me neither. Lots of people, a LOT of fucking people have theories, oh there are a lot of theories on what happens after death, but no one really knows for sure, do they? They say they do, people SAY they know for sure, but nobody does and nobody will until they hit that big exit door, right?
Nobody really fucking knows. Thats something to think about. Thats what I think about. Thats what kept me from committing suicide. Thinking hard about death kept me alive. Grandpa would have appreciated that irony, I think.
Long flight ahead. Why dont you give it a shot?
I have to go to the bathroom. Excuse me."Paul on the Plane" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR