September 15, 2009


I am sitting on a plane, if you can even call it that, at the Chicago airport, waiting to find out if we will be able to actually take off in this heap of junk they are dangerously calling our plane. Apparently, the previous pilot "picked up a rock" on the way in and it has damaged the engine. What an interesting choice of words, "picked up a rock." It makes it sound like he swung by Fresno on the way in for rock and meth.

I am bitter and trying to make light of my total annoyance by being cynically sarcastic, but I hate when I am like this. This is when I want to be completely Zen and ok with sitting on a fucking runway for god knows how long, but I am guess I am not that evolved, because right now, I hate everyone….except the 2 year old girl sitting across the aisle watching Wall-E. Her name is Celeste, which was my mother's name.

You know how some people have this whole WWJD – What Would Jesus Do thing going on? I have the same bizarre complex (sans a neoprene bracelet) with my sweet dead mother and what she would do in these awful situations. My mother, I dare say, likely had more patience than Jesus. She wouldn't have over turned the tables in front of the church (I am pretty sure that was a scene I saw in a movie about Jesus.) No, she would have hugged them and suggested something else, or maybe not even done that. She might just have browsed their wares and moved on with a smile.

Anyway, as I was sitting here contemplating whether going bonkers on this flight would increase or decrease my travel time, the young mother sitting across the aisle from me gently told Celeste to sit down. Fuck. Why does Mom's voice have to hover over me challenging me to be a better person? Can't I just bitterly slam things around, sigh and grumble about being stuck in Chicago on a Friday at 3pm? Do I really have to consider the people around me and their pain as well? Christ, must I be grateful for what I have?

And, why can't United Airlines just get us another fucking plane? No, instead they are going to have us sit for an hour while they figure out whether they can or cannot fix the plane, and then, and only then, will they begin the process of finding us another plane. Seems to me if you did these things in tandem, then there would be a lot less sitting around.

The pilot just announced that they think they can fix the plane with some sandpaper and files. And that it will take about 25 minutes. I feel so comforted. Again, I wonder what would happen if I stood up and started screaming? Would I get removed from the plane? And if I did get removed, would I be put on another plane that won't crash mid-air because it is held together with superglue and sandpaper?

Now the mother sitting next to me is getting on my nerves. She keeps asking Celeste if she wants to take a nap on her lap. Really? How's that working for you? Are you seriously expecting her to say, "why yes Mother, I would like for you to shut down my portable DVD player so that I may curl up in your lap and gently and quietly drift off."

I am beginning to hate myself even more as the minutes tick by. My ass is throbbing from sitting squished on planes since 11am this morning. I want to be home. There is no place like home. And it is where I want to be right now.


I made it home, with very little fanfare actually. The plane left kind of late, but in reality, arrived not as late as it left. How does that happen?

Anyway, that night, while lying in the tub, at home, alone, I started thinking about regrets and lapses of judgment. In spite of my desire to rant and rave on the plane, I did not actually do it. But, I have done and said truly awful things in my life. The power of words is immense, and those uttered in a fit of anger are like escaped wild dogs, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting bystanders.

Anger is a dubious luxury, or so says one of my favorite books on the topic. For years I really believed that goal was never to get angry. I suppose had I kept on with that insane belief, I would have ended up like Kramer on Seinfeld after his failed "Serenity Now" anger management plan. I would have either become detached from myself and everyone else or simply blown my head off in one final "fuck you" to the world.

But thankfully, growth and maturity are available to anyone who wants it, and I realized along the way that I cannot avoid anger, but I can keep my freaking mouth shut.

Sadly, as quickly as I learned that, I forgot it. So then I had to re-learn it. But I forgot it again. And so the cruel, almost daily cycle continues, presumably for my lifetime. I keep getting back up on the horse, even after it throws me and stomps on my head. Fucking horse.


Emily said...

Regarding Jesus and the money lenders from the bible - if they were republican, mom would have been overturning the tables :)

Alice said...

Ditto on Emily's comment - I think we have to say WWMDTAC, What Would Mom Do To A Child? I have the same snydrome. Maybe I'll make bracelets for us.

Emily said...

Alice, I don't think your wrist is big enough to fit WWMDTAC. :)