Squished into an airplane with my outer thigh pressed up against the stranger next to me is invasive and uncomfortable. And, I’m getting an arm cramp because I’ve folded my shoulder bones together, making my cleavage look very impressive, trying not to touch the person next to me. It’s the awkward little airplane dance of mandatory, yet unwelcome physical interaction. The closeness, the touching, the small talk – it’s all enough to make a perfectly sane person think jumping out of airplanes is a grand idea.
But here is the real injustice of airplane travel. Air quality. Am I the only one who hates breathing in hand-me-down air? I feel like an oxygen starved guppy, tempted to put my mouth directly up to that toothpaste top vent, gulping in the moving air, even though I know it is not even fresh. Something about the air moving makes it seem healthier.
However, I have another more serious grievance. Travelers who fart in their sleep. Seriously. Why do I have to breathe in your pollution! Put a plug in it already. GAH! On my last trip I wanted to wake up the tooting passengers and glare at them through eyes that were watering from the insult to my olfactory. I would point at my eye for emphasis, perhaps with my middle finger.“Look at what you have done to me”! Then, graciously I would offer a breath mint or some gum. “Have a breath mint. May I suggest where you put it?” Maybe minty bubble gum. I don’t care if people want to blow bubbles out their ass as long as they smell good! So, not to be completely callous, I know flatulation is an inevitability whenever people are sleeping, except in my case. I’m pretty sure I have never farted in my sleep, but for most people this is a foregone conclusion. Still, plan ahead folks. No beans for 3 months prior to flying. Unfortunately, when traveling in such close quarters, shared air happens. I will have to adjust.
I have traveled my life with some grand adventurers. So many of my “circle” carry the fragrances of love, grace and hope. However, some are putrid, rigid and carry baggage that smells like the city dump. It used to be a part of my life’s mission and work to travel with the latter, helping them to see, hear, smell what a fresh outlook on life looks like. However, that isn’t the case anymore.
My job now is to care for myself. Heal, learn to love with trust, remember and really live. So, I pick my fellow travelers carefully. Those who give me life, share love, forgive and offer grace; those who inspire those qualities in me. These are the people who I choose to wander with these days. This is the high quality fresh air I choose to breathe. I am blessed to have access to it. Very blessed.