Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In Flight

(Written May 6, 2007, at around 2.45 AM)

So I’m writing this with an hour to go before the plane touches down in Cebu. Not sure when I’ll get to post this, or where, but hopefully a few hours after I reach my destination. Right now, I’m flying above an ocean, and all I can see from my window is darkness and reflections. My nose has been giving me a hard time during this flight – for some weird reason, I always have a tendency of having a drippy nose whenever I fly by myself. This is a slight problem as I also have a tendency of running out of pocket tissue at the most inopprtune moments. O_o

I’m in an uncomfortable position, to be honest. The seat I got can’t recline, and so for most of the flight, I’ve been up on my back and the man in front of me is inconsiderate enough to keep his chair reclines, which means there is less than a centimeter between my tummy and the edge of my laptop. This makes for uncomfortable typing. Still, I figure, we’re touching down in an hour’s time, and I tell myself it’s just as long as an episode of Gray’s Anatomy, which kind of puts things in perspective.

I’ve been thinking about things lately, and how up in the air, things seem to lose all meaning, how everything becomes momentary and transient. I even thought up of two lines for a poem:

Human beings are not meant to be in flight –
We require the anchor of level ground

Of course, I’m not yet sure what happens after, but what’s important is that there’s a beginning, right? Moments are set to motion. Earlier, I remember crying as the plane angled upwards, the entire machine thrumming like some great animal and I was in its belly. I watched Singapore and its neat gridlock of lights outline the causeways of the city, and I realize that things will never be the same. So many friends are saying goodbye – people I never quite thought I’d be saying goodbye to, or rather the prospect of goodbye to. It seems strange, the finality of it all, the idea of living in close proximity with people for months, knowing them, and then suddenly facing the prospect of years without seeing them. (Unless, of course, someone lends me money to fly to Colombo – then I’m game.)

I suppose what I’m trying to say here is that planes remind me of transience, of how we are connected and apart by threads in time, where we are surprised by ourselves at the depth of attachment that we have for certain people, certain places, that would not have been possible in the past. I feel like such a different person from five months ago, when I went back to Manila for Christmas; I don’t quite remember anything beyond the haze of happiness and relief that I was home. Now, there’s a momentary tug, as if the body has been separated, truncated by experiences and memories. This flight seems unreal. Going home seems like a dream that I’m walking through. But it’s a good dream, albeit knowing that it’s temporary.

Forty more minutes. Act II is about to begin. This is the television show of my life.

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