Random Thoughts from 20,000 Feet (or However High Planes Fly)

It is 10:42 Mountain Time on Tuesday and I am on a plane from Burbank to Denver. Soon I will land and I will get an hour of my life back. Funny how time works like that.

The woman sitting next to me has been typing away at her laptop for most of the flight. Maybe she’s a writer. A real writer who actually writes. I don’t know because she’s at the window and I’m on the aisle, an empty seat between us. We smiled politely at each other, said some pleasantries, but it seems nobody talks on planes anymore.

Except for my trip out to Denver. There were two women across from me talking excitedly the whole time, as if they were lifelong friends, and yet somehow I knew they had just met. They talked and laughed and I heard one of them say the F word when she told a story. They were comfortable with each other. After we deplaned I used the bathroom (as I always do) and saw one of them alone – my intuition confirmed. Fast friends for two and a half hours, likely never to speak again. How nice for them to have passed the time of the flight in such a lovely way.

I finally finished East of Eden on this flight. My friend Laurel calls it The Great American Novel. It took me two months to read because it’s six hundred and two dense pages and I’m a slow reader who never takes the time to read. She loves Samuel Hamilton so much. Adores him. The greatest character every written, she said. She might not have said that. My memory is shit these days. I loved Lee. I found him the most wonderful. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it like she did. It’s too soon to say if it will stay with me or not, but I think maybe not. I wasn’t sad that it was over like I was with Pride or Prejudice (if we’re talking about books that are dense) and it was lovely but I didn’t find it heartbreakingly beautiful (like The Goldfinch if we’re talking long-ass books that take two months to read). Maybe my original assessment of John Steinbeck was right – he’s fine, but I don’t love him.

And so that brings me back to this flight. I should have paid for the internet and worked. That would have been the best use of my time. And since it’s a work day and I’m on a work trip, probably appreciated by my company and my boss. But I worked all day Saturday and was away from home on Sunday (though I did not work and had an awesome day that was both relaxing and fun-filled), so we’ll call it comp time.

I’m writing because I made a writing goal at my last writing group – to write two blog posts. The meeting is Saturday and I’ve not written one yet. I don’t know what to write about anymore. I said at my writing group recently that I no longer have anything to say that anyone wants to hear. Kim says that she doesn’t think that’s true, but I think she might be wrong. Because I’m just writing down my random thoughts on a plane and not one of them was funny and who would ever want to read that?

6 thoughts on “Random Thoughts from 20,000 Feet (or However High Planes Fly)

  1. For the record, I liked reading this a lot. Random thoughts that actually aren’t that random. Vignettes from a stretch of time that seem disconnected but actually have a common thread…

    You are wistful. Pensive. Authentic.

    And I DID think there were some funny undertones, but I DON’T think your writing has to be funny for me to want to read it.

    I love your writing voice. But I understand what you’re saying here. Deeply.

  2. Looks like I’ll be reading The Goldfinch! I’m bummed you didn’t love EofE, but glad you loved Lee. I love Lee. Now you can leave your copy of EofE on the plane ride home (I love doing that) for someone else to find and read. And I’m with Julie – I just love your writing. You are inherently funny.

  3. OK, now I too have to read the Goldfinch because I still love Pride and Prejudice too.

    And blogs are fun because you can do anything you want, entertain others while you do it and cross something off your list when you’re done!

    And, hey, you have an empty middle seat and an extra tray/coffee table. I say score!

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