Sitting aboard the plane on route to Vancouver the woman sitting in the seat in front of me winds a gold watch ceaselessly. I find this hypnotic as a strange calm tucks itself around the creases of my usual fluttery heart. She turns the watch so that it faces upside down and winds feverently. A woman behind me complains to her husband that someone stinks like eucalyptus. That she needs air and she forgot her favourite bra at home. I either smirk or cringe at each comment she makes. I am so weightless today it couldn’t possibly dampen my spirit. The smell is me. As always before flying I got a touch of strep throat. I’m a lover of pure essential oils and that smell is definitely me. Sorry about the fragrant air and your bra lady. And to your husband, sorry about your nagging wench of a wife. Beside me sits a petite old woman who calmly fingers through the newspaper. I love being seated next to old women on planes. My destination is Lübeck, Germany. It is Friday the 13th, as well as a full moon. Where most people might have chosen another less superstitious day, in my opinion two negatives make a positive. Everyday is Friday the 13th for me. I´m not even half way through the year and I’ve been in three car accidents, slammed with an overwhelming amount of bills, a mangled back and neck, and other assorted less fortunate circumstances. If every day is Friday the 13th for me, maybe on Friday the actual 13th it’s my get out of jail free card.
I picture the man I am meeting in Hamburg and smile. This is going to be so great. Never in my years would I have pictured myself flying overseas on my own to meet up with someone. I know this man and we get along well. In the way people do when there is some invisible unbreakable bond between the two that neither can explain. We met in the cafe I was working at last fall while he was here as a hunting guide. I wasn’t sure what to think as I wasn’t sure about his hair. Layla, always so good at connecting with people invited him and his workmate out for drinks that night. I begrudgedly went not expecting much. I remember that I loved watching him talk, but when he talked all I could hear was that he was a young man with his heart set on travel.. and here I am on a plane, with my heart set on travel. It’s funny how people can have such an effect on other people. How such a small bit of faith in another can grow so strongly and brightly.
I had decided I wouldn’t look up any of the cities I’ll be flying through in Germany so that it could all be a surprise to me. I broke down last night scouring photos of Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg. Oh my God. I originally had the small idea that I would see small traditional houses and other than that I wasn’t exactly sure what those would even look like none the less what else there would be. Now I am sure I am flying to Narnia.
The woman seated across from me is eating and drinking with her eyes sealed shut. Early on boarding her seat mate traded a woman for her seat. A burly bigger man, He cracked a joke before sitting next to eyes sealed shut that when this plane goes down, when they find our mangled bodies they will say, “Wait a second, this guys not Hannah.” I laughed. She struggled to keep herself calm before straining through pursed lips, “Well that was morbid.. and dark..”
White clouds mark the rugged landscape of British Columbia en route to Vancouver and the sun shines. The old lady next to me is opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water. She asks for a black coffee and for a second I wonder if she might be hungover. Never underestimate old ladies. There’s nothing they haven’t seen or heard… or done.. In my imagination anyways. I feel tired. I couldn’t fall asleep last night for I kept thinking about the cabin, the dogs, work, people, life at home in general. Yus woke me up at four this morning sniffing my face, her tail knocking remote controls off my mothers coffee table. She is getting so tall, a tuft of puppy fur at the top of her head stands straight up, giving her the look that she slept hard or is at that awkward bad hair, teenage stage. I stood outside with her in the cool damp morning. This time tomorrow I’ll be there, I think to myself.
My fast little heart skips a beat.