Monday, October 27, 2008


In August I flew down to Tucson for Zeke's freshman orientation at the U of A. On the flights back, I wrote the following bit o' fiction...

She stood in the skyway tram watching a plane lift off.

"Fall out of the sky," she thought. "Drop like a rock. Now."

The plane continued on it's steep trajectory, seemingly impervious to her command.

"Perhaps," she thought, "I don't want that plane to crash. If I crash a plane here, waiting for my own flight, I will be stuck here while they clean up the mess. I don't want that."

How tedious it would be to be stuck with this cross section of humanity: Those women of an earlier generation who wore their hair in curly helmets and mad one think of words like "twin set" and "cocktail hour".

Businessmen who droned endlessly and self-imprtantly of paradigms and globalization and made tedious barking phone calls to their wives and softer illicit calls to their assistants. The trekkers and adventurers, striding across the terminal in their smug hiking boots and thick socks as if they were still searching for the elusive yeti and great deals on new and exciting hallucinogens.

The people who dressed as if they were dining out at some upscale restaurant, celebrating Ed and Myrtle's 27th, and the ones dressed as if they were on a 2 am run to Taco Bell.

Screaming brats, college students prowling for cheap beer and cheaper sex. Grandparents steeling themselves for a week of too close contact with the fruit of their loins.

The ones with the faintest whiff of desperation, traveling to distant ports where they hope for the fountain of youth in the forms of dubious drugs, treatments of mud, seaweed or mammalian bodily fluids, and the attentions of rather scary plastic surgeons.

"Actually," she mused, " considering the caliber of passenger on most aircraft, I would be doing humanity a service in knocking a few planes outta the sky."

But then, she was hungry, and she fancied being hungry made her cranky in a low-blood sugary kind of way.

"Iit would be too inconvienent if I caused the plane to drop before i got out of this hellhole myself. Maybe I should just decide that's a plane full of future oncology patients obliviously flying off for one last glorious week at Disneyland," she scoffed to herself.

She found that a more satisfactory result -- her own cancer cluster that no researcher would or could ever trace, the only connection this group of unfortunates shared was crossing her line of sight while she was cranky, the only common cause for their doomed futures of tumors and radiation and chemo and pain was being the target of her ill will.

She was momentarily saddened by the realization she had no way to reassure herself that she had in fact cursed that plane full of people, but recovered when she glowered at a businessman who moments later spilled his soy latte down his pants leg.

Perhaps one would think she might have a twinge of guilt for condemning an entire planeload of strangers to painful death. One would be wrong. She in fact felt she was doing the world a favor, since she tought that humanity could benefit from a little thinning of the herd. There was always the off-chance the next Einstein or Elvis Costello could be thinned, but she thought the reduction of the human race by far outweighed that small risk.


  1. Hummm, bitter, sarcastic, mean, unloved, confused, lonely, desperate --- just a few words I felt about this character. And then I had a lot of questions about why she felt that way. I think I should have been a psychiatrist. I think she needs help.
    Nice writing.

  2. I think I work with that lady! An interesting piece, made me think

  3. mmm are you going to develop it any further?
    I think that you have the essence of a decent novel there.
    If I picked up a novel and that was the page I randomly read I would buy the book.
    Send me a copy when you have finished..

    xxx Kim

  4. A very interesting point of view. Very dark and introspective. Definitely had me thinking.


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