Vancouver to Frankfurt
I look up from my book to see people are forming long efficient line ups in the order of their seats. How very german and efficient of them. I join them. On standing in line I feel a growl in my stomach and my four hours of sleep are catching up to me. I want to lie in the ground and take a quick 12 hour nap. I feel my nerves quiver and my heart starts racing. What.. The fuck.. Am I doing. My brain wants to confront my heart. It is senseless says my head. My heart doesn’t budge. I guess I’m going to Germany. First class is loaded and then economy from the back of the plane to the front. Once my line starts moving forward my heart decides to jump into my throat. I consider running away. To where though? I am already running away in a sense. I’ve sold all my things for this. It’s my turn and I walk up to the front. A german woman checks my passport and ticket and nods at me, I turn to walk away. I don’t even know why I did this, she gently touches my arm and points towards the plane. Oh right, that.. how could I be so silly, thanks. I have a window seat and I’m overwhelmed with how tired and hungry I am. The lunch I wolfed down earlier is fading. Three younger english boys are sat behind me and are at the age where just about everything they have to say is to tease each other in a way that I can’t help but laugh out loud at. One of them says what I’m thinking, “They had better be showing Snakes On A Plane.” The laughter is welcome to my tired nerves. The man seated next to me is asleep before the plane even takes off.
The first time I ever flew in a plane I thought it was a death wish. To say I was terrified would have been an understatement. When the plane took off I couldn’t help but enjoy it, but was unsure how to feel about enjoying something that I thought would kill me. My mom had looked back at my brother and I from up and across the aisle and asked me what I thought. All that came out was, “Don’t talk to me right now.” But what I meant was that I didn’t know what to think and was still terrified.
I’ll never forget the look on her face.
I’ve spent some time observing the man beside me. At first I thought he was probably part of the mafia. The harsh face I always see on myself – it is a german thing. The man beside me is actually pretty nice. I was admiring how well he travels, easy to sleep, easy to eat, drinks white wine and tonic water…what a classy fellow I sit and admire.
And then he jumped out of his seat in a fit of joy attempting to jump over the guy at the end of the aisle. Ramming his chest into the poor sleeping young guys face and tripping over his legs into the isle. This was far from graceful. Things I’m learning about language barriers: exchanged glances and fits of uncontrollable laughter are universal. Something about seeing this was hilarious to my sleep deprived mind. Hell, it still is. What’s funnier is that guys been gone for a some time now. That guy leapt up, in a fit of fury to land face first on another guy.. To go rock a shit. The young man and I can’t even look at each other anymore without bursting into the kind of laughter where fat tears squeeze down your cheeks.
There was a group of men at my gate that I swear were probably all members of some mafia. Massive, burly, ugly, gruesome, sweaty men.. Sharing a 60 pounder of vodka before getting on an international flight. And I thought I was bad. The loudest one had a huge sleeve, numerous piercings and a long, sweaty, greasy ponytail. He probably weighs 300 some pounds I kid you not. He’s been standing up in the aisle, skin a sickly yellow, sweat pouring off his bulbous forehead with glazed, beady red eyes. He has the look of someone ready to throw up and black out in it. I prayed while I waited for this flight that he wouldn’t be sat next to me on this flight. Let me tell you.
There is a God on Friday the 13th.. Even if there is a full moon.
I keep trying to picture what it will be like to see my friend after so long. Do I remember him to be the same as he is? Will it be different now that we are in his homeland and not mine. This trip feels like a mixture of hope and home. A large part of me feels like I am going home. Whether that is my old soul or my happy heart, I cannot be sure.