Plane = Life Metaphor

by Penelope Smallbone

I am currently sitting on American Airlines flight 4849 bound for Columbus, Ohio on a sunny Saturday morning. There aren’t enough people who desire to travel to or through Columbus to warrant a large, nice jet so instead we are on a “regional” jet. You are probably familiar with these planes. They are the ones with two seats on one side, and a single seat on the other with an aisle in between. I’ve been on these planes many times and today was the third time that I have been stuck in the window seat of the double seat row. And also the third time that a couple has been seated in the other two seats and I have generously offered to move so they can sit in the double together.

This morning when I offered they both said, “Oh my goodness, that is so nice of you!” To which I replied, “Oh no worries. I prefer the single seat anyway.” Dear God, then it hit me! I prefer the single seat. I put my book down, looked away and thought on that for a moment. I am the single person on this flight. All around me are couples traveling together, no doubt to see relatives or friends or both, or taking a lusty, sex-infused trip to the tropics, for which Columbus, OH is only a stop before reaching their final destination. And I’m over here in the single seat. Loving it!

Let me back up and give some precedence to this story. I have had a whirlwind couple of weeks. After a few months of a dry spell (having pneumonia for the month of December certainly did not help my sex life) I have been back in action. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s freezing outside and everyone wants to snuggle or that Valentine’s Day just passed, but I have been one hot, crazy and much sought-after single female lately! In the past few weeks I have made out with four different boys, all of whom fervently wanted to see me again. I obliged for a few and have had some sweet dates lately too. All of this culminated on the night of Valentine’s Day, in which I finally broke that dry spell and got laid. (woo!)

Perhaps you are reading this and are confused. It doesn’t sound like I am in the single seat at all, what with all these suitors coming around to take me out. But that’s just it. I love not having to be attached to anyone! I am looking at the folks next to me — the boy and the girl who I let have my double seat — and they are only slightly involved with one another. They’ve been reading their own pieces of literature the whole time and have barely said a word to one another. The only hint of communication I saw was when the girl needed her boyfriend to move so she could get to the lavatory. A very funny look, in my opinion. One that both expressed her intense physiological need to get up and her unwillingness to put up with his resistance to move. Needless to say, he moved. Quickly. And then I think about myself here in the single seat. When I needed to go I just got up and went. No questions, no looks, no hesitation, no having to wait for the other person to ready themselves.

However, much like being the single person in life, I did have to find a way to maneuver my laptop and other items, without any help, so I could get out of the seat that I do not share with anyone.

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