A Long December~Counting Crows






Meclizine Meg was staring out the window of the airplane.  She loved staring out the window.  Meg had heard people many times discuss the joys of people watching in such a situation.  Meg preferred taking in the landscape.  She found people watching to be vaguely annoying.  Everyone thinking they were Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. Meg would see herself as Ms. Marple.  She had the same tendency to see similarities in people.  But mostly she just didn't like people watching.  Too many assumptions and leaps in logic.  She knew that people who didn't know her well, or at all, saw her as sad and quiet.  Melancholy. Melancholy Meclizine Meg.   Disinclined to smile.  People who knew her well described her as dramatic and bubbly.   She supposed she probably fit both sets of descriptions.

She found that she liked traveling alone.  And decided it was something she should do more often.   The drawback was not having people to watch her bags at the airport when she went to the bathroom.  Traveling with people was nice too.


Meg stared out the window of the plane and thought about all the cliches of flying.  She thought about a poem she wrote once about it. "Landings are the reality." That's how the poem ended.  She couldn't quite remember the rest.

Her mind then wandered through movie scenes.  Zach Braff's imagined plane crash in Garden State.  Meg Ryan's meeting of Kevin Kline on the plane ride to France.  He not so obliquely compared take offs to sex.  Meclizine Meg always compared them to roller coaster rides.  She loved them.  Take offs.  Roller coaster rides.   Both.

Meg was seated right over the wing of the plane.  This had become her preference.  Near the wing, window seat.  She watched Mandalay Bay, The Luxor, The Wynn, and The Trump disappear from view. As the plane elevated over Las Vegas, Meg saw for the first time the effect turbulence has on a wing.  The wing seemed to bend and buckle unnaturally.  It didn't seem right for metal to move like that.  Was it metal? It looked like metal.   Regardless, Meg found it frightening.

Out the window Meg saw mountains below the clouds.  She would know she was close to her destination when the mountain landscape gave way to the orderly patterned squares of greens and browns.   Probably mostly browns at this time of year.   And still it would be 10 times as green as the place she left behind.

The flight attendants for this particular flight had the worst hair she had ever seen.  They all needed haircuts.  One of the female flight attendant had a fork in light socket hairdo.   The male attendant needed a haircut and a reality check on how his hair was not helping him.

The pilot says they are over Colorado. Meg has the sensation of movement even though she is not moving.  Vague swirling somersault feelings.  Either her Meclizine is wearing off or it causes the very feeling it is supposed to prevent. She doesn't mind the sensation.  It's kind of fun.  The feeling of floating.   But the Meclizine itself makes her feel a particularly miserable kind of tired.  When she is going to be stuck as a passenger in a car, she always tries alternative treatments before turning to the Meclizine.   She eats crackers or little stomach friendly snacks and puts lavender oil on her wrists and inhales deeply.   It usually works well enough.  But she didn't know how air travel would affect her.   Between being struck with vertigo/motion sickness and Meclizine misery, Meg picks Meclizine misery.  Miserable Meclizine Meg.

There are no clouds now.  Clearly it is a beautiful clear day in Colorado.  If they are still over Colorado.  The earth is looking more and more like a patchwork quilt.  They must be further east than Colorado.  Nebraska? Kansas? Somewhere else entirely? Meg can not remember the exact borders of the states that line up between the Mississippi River and the Continental Divide.


Meg wonders what she will feel when she steps off the plane.  She has been unusually unexcited about this trip.  Mostly because she knows it will be busy.  Not the luxuriant week of lounging, baby holding, and cooking she desired.  Going home was always like this.  Complicated. Torn between all that she missed and all that she quite purposely left far, far behind.

The fellow passengers in Meg's row have fallen asleep.  The woman next to her is sleeping with her head on the tray attached to the back of the seat in front of her.  Meg thinks that when the woman wakes up she will regret this position.  It can't be easy on her back.   Meg is kept company by her iPod and a peppermint.  She realizes it is ridiculous to see the candy swirling in her mouth as a companion.  But the thought pervades.

Meg's first order of business upon arrival at her sister's will be to hold the baby.  Her second order of business will be a long hot shower.  She has been in the same clothes since after her shower early yesterday evening.  She smells like bacon.  Last night, she stopped to say goodbye to her makeshift Tucson family.  They were frying bacon in their poorly ventilated apartment.  The smell clung to her like a barnacle to a ship. She has grown used to the scent and no longer notices it.  She doubts her fellow passengers' noses are so forgiving.

The view out the window was now white.  Not even shapes and outlines of clouds.  Just impenetrable white void.   Meclizine Meg created an imaginary view in her mind.  Endless Patchworks of emerald green. It is November.  She knows her view is pure fantasy.

Her iPod must know she is on a plane because it plays for her Jon Mitchell's Both Sides Now.  Meg has also seen clouds from both sides.  She isn't sure it's quite the metaphor for love and life Mitchell makes it out to be.  But it sounds good.

The white void is starting to make Meg a little stir crazy.  And funny because as soon as she thinks that, her iPod plays Don't Panic.  Creepy little iPod. The plane drops perceptibly.  Are they close? Will she soon see her city? She loves flying into St. Louis because she knows the landmarks and the highways.

The captain announces the final descent.

The white void becomes a gray void and tiny droplets of rain stream across the window.   Her first view of St. Louis is the highway running along side the airport.

She is home.