this ain’t no planet of sound…


birds of prey

I.  Turbulence

As his flight boarded he finished the bottle of Malbec in the airport bathroom.  Someone brusquely shook the stall door a third time and walked away.  The sound of flushing urinals, toilets and hand dryers echoed off the tile.  He was dizzy and fell back on to the toilet, cracked the seat, and bounced off onto the wet floor.  He saw a mop bucket rolled up to the stall door. 

A pair of shoes worn colorless and splattered with stains appeared next to the bucket. The door was jostled again and a voice said, “Sir, are you all right in there?  Are you o.k.?”

He tried to lift himself up using the bowl for leverage.  He grabbed for the seat, it shifted and he careened to the far side of the stall, and fell face down on a wet spot.  The wetness was colder than he expected. 

“Sir, I’m going to get airport security,” the voice said.  “Do you need medical help, sir?” The door shook brusquely.

“Coño!”  He heard as the mop bucket wheeled away underneath the door.  “Que mierda, chico,” trailed away. 

He saw a procession of suitcases clattering, and shoes, mostly sneakers, and some dress shoes, and a few open toed sandals — “somewhere sunny and warm,” he whispered. 

He struggled up and sat on the toilet.  He reeled and listed.  The seat cracked again and he teetered above the bowl.  His plane taxied down the runway.  He bounced off the sharp edge of the bowl.  He keeled in some indistinct direction.


II.  Friendly Skies

Shit, the one and only thing that’ll calm me down now is to switch to Jesus Christ Superstar on my IPod. 

I’m stuck here in seat 14F — the window — with two large ladies blocking my escape route.  I’m full of gas from the channa masala I had for breakfast and I have to take a grievous piss.  These women are talking about their church bake sale in Brunswick, Georgia.  They must have been programmed to do this precisely at this moment.  Outside the wings are vibrating wildly.  The jet motor seems as if it might fall off in this turbulence.  How could these women not be affected by the storm outside?  They’re oblivious to the plight of the airplane.  They must be automatons planted by my mother to spy on me.

We’re above an endless plateau of cirrus, and look at that wisp of crescent moon nailed to this impossibly saturated blue sky.  The moon out at noon.  Proof, and more proof, that I’m being watched.  These people are everywhere.

The two year-old behind me is screaming shrill cavils.  His parents seem inured to this spectacle.  He’s kicking my seat.  What’s wrong with this little fuck.  Why are these people doing nothing to control this bastard.  Who are these people.  Shit, they’re glaring at me. The parents, too, are plants.  They must be. 

And look at the two across the aisle.  She’s reading Cosmopolitan and he has a copy of Weekly World News open to a page that screams:  Elvis Found! Living As A Hermit In The Himalayas.  Another ruse. 

The plane is compressing in on itself.  We’ll all be crushed up here at 28,000 feet.  Maybe I can crack this window open with my elbow.  I must, I must get out of here.  I can jump out and catch hold of the wing just thirty feet behind me.  Easy.

Maybe I can take this kid out before I head out.  Yes, the pens in my backpack.  I’ll stick one into his neck and puncture his carotid artery.  Yes, yes!  Wait, where exactly on the neck is the carotid?  I’m not sure.  Fuck.  No, no, I’ll just puncture the left side of his neck under the ear and pull across the throat to the other ear.  Yes, I’m sure to hit it that way, probably twice actually. 

Wow, look how cool that looks down there.  That solid bank of cirrus has broken and now we’re over mountainous cumulus clouds, big puffy fuckers, like god-sized cotton balls.  Man, that is beautiful.  Whoa, “Pilate and Christ” this is my absolute favorite on Superstar.  Lots of give and take between the two and those horns pierce.  Fucking pierce!  Ah, shit, “Herod’s Song.”  Shit, no, this is my favorite, I think.

God damn it, kid, shut up. 

Where is it.  Not this one, I hate these pens, a back up I’ve never used.  Here.  Yes.  Why won’t this top pop off?  There.

Shut up kid.  Oh yeah, I love this line “Get out, you, king of the Jews… get out of my life.” I never pictured Josh Mostel as Herod.  He couldn’t sing for shit.

Kid, say goodbye, so fucking long.  Here.

Why’s everybody screaming?  What gives?

Wow, this blood is darker and warmer than I ever expected.

Get your hands off me, man.

Why are these people running up here?  Ow, lady let go of my balls, you fat bitch.  Who’s got their hands on my neck?  Fuck, fuck, that hurts.  Get off me, you fat fuck.  I need to get to the window and I’ll be out. 

Yes, someone has my face pressed to the window.  Just let go of my arm, asshole.  Just got to get my elbow… 


Look at that sky.  I never thought a blue like that was possible.


“Be a good steward of your gifts.  Protect your time.  Feed your inner life.  Avoid too much noise.  Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.  Be by yourself as often as you can.  Walk.  Take the phone off the hook.  Work regular hours.”

— Jane Kenyon


About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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