By: Sara Graper
The wheels imitated my heartbeat as they sped over the slabs of concrete. Thudump, thudump, thudump. Was it mocking me or consoling me? I pondered this temporarily and then reasoned that after waiting twenty minutes past departure, this was a comforting feeling, despite having the urge to scream like a little girl being force fed mashed peas. But I digress. After all, I couldn’t supersede my manly demeanor, as it was blatantly obvious that I was being watched.
I have the worst luck when it comes to seating arrangements on airplanes. I swear to god, it doesn’t matter if I’m in row two or twenty two, window or aisle, with or without family, I will sure as shit be seated next to the man who should’ve bought two seat for his fat ass and a third for the mole on his face. And on top of that, he has a rare foot fungus that needs to be aired out or it just may “spread to the rest of his body.” Hell, even if I were placed in first class, I’d end up next to a successful, but obnoxious Elvis impersonator in full costume.
On the way to Minneapolis, I munched down on my Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies, doing my best to ignore the turbulence, the snoring of the large biker next to me, and the burning stare of the woman across the aisle. I can handle snoring, it’s welcome in the absence of infectious fungus, but something about the incessant glare of the lady to my right made me uneasy. I shrugged it off and figured she probably just wanted me. Just an ugly cougar.
Not half way into the flight, a hole had begun to burn into my skull and I had made several awkward eye glances with her, hoping she’d take the hint that I was not interested. Although, by now, I had taken her look to be that of a scornful mother, instead of sexual desire. I had also gathered that the man next to her, whose shoulder she peaked out from behind, was her husband. And he was an asshole.
They were quite the pair; they had cornered in a hot blonde, talked down to the flight attendants, and were on each other like flies on horse manure. It was lovely. But this sexual tension was only between her intent gazes.
I was relieved when her urge to pee overcame her urge to glower at me, and I even endured her husband’s voluminous behind in my face to get a few moments of ease. I lucked out further when her husband followed her to the bathroom, giving me the time to chat up the hottie they had blocked from view.
Her name was Georgia and she was one of those females who had gotten ahead in life by screwing her professors in college. She attempted to radiate intelligence, even though she failed miserably, sluing a slur of “likes” every time her luscious mouth opened. She had even removed the dust cover from her novel in an attempt to appear like she was reading a classic, but she disclosed to me that it was “The Hunger Games” and that the writer had added scenes to the book that weren’t in the movie. But did I mention she was hot?
We flirted viciously across the aisle until Mr. and Mrs. McRudeBigPants returned. It was as if a new dung pile had been dropped and the flies swarmed in for the feast, because they were even MORE SO all over each other. Then it occurred to me, “The Mile High Club.” How did both of them manage to fit into that closet of a bathroom?! I would’ve gone and puked if there hadn’t just been a physical connection made in, on, or near one of the toilets. I attempted to distract myself, humming “Georgia on My Mind,” imaging Georgia on my body, but this only reminded me sex on an airplane and the newest participants. The urge to barf returned.
With the time it took to reach Minnesota, I reasoned that we must be driving there. Turbulence continued and the lady continued to stare, while rubbing her husband’s thigh. The only change was Biker Man had woken to leg aches and begged to squeeze out and stretch. I willingly complied and shifted into the aisle. At that very moment, the plane’s wings were ripped with a fierce gust and I had fallen into the lap of the large, rude gentleman, nose to nose with his glaring wife.
I was ripped from his lap by the collar and hung there as he growled threats into my face. “You like punk! Who the hell stands up when the plane’s whipping’ around!?”
“With all due respect sir, you’re standing in the aisle right now.”
He threw me to the ground, and, the next thing I knew, I was gasping for air as he fell on top of me, unstable with the shakiness of the aircraft. The entire time this was happening, Biker Man was stuck in the seat and the flight attendants were barking at us over the intercom to sit down and shut up. Other passengers began to yell and protest our behavior, until the fatty’s pride was so diminished, he had no choice but to cram back into his chair. Biker Man opted against pissing off the flight attendants further and also huddled back into his seat.
An awkward lull took over the plane. It wasn’t peaceful; it was just one of those things that happens when someone makes such an ass of themselves, no one has anything to say. Then the baby started crying. It really did sound like she was being force fed mashed peas.
Published July 2012.
Based on real life events, “The Coach Cabin Chronicles” sympathizes the events that can occur when several people are jammed in a small space.