Staring out at nothing by sky, I wasn’t sure whether to be curious or anxious- separated from all things solid only by the metal of the plane I was inhabiting. I’ve always been a somewhat anxious flyer. Generally, I settle and amuse myself with a book or my thoughts– and today, with writing.

Gradually, the endless sky subsides into a mottled view of water below, sprinkled with sand bars and what could be dolphins. We are over water descending into Tampa where the plane will delete and add new passengers before continuing on to its final destination (that phrase now making me slightly leery and superstitious because of the movies by the same name) of Fort Lauderdale.

This is the second time I’ve made this journey this year as I make my way to the corporate office of one of our clients.

I have still not decided whether or not I enjoy traveling. It disrupts my routine (and pulls me away from my kitties!), but it provides new experiences and challenges that enrich my life. My fear of air travel (and namely crashing) is definitely a factor in my travel confusion.

Wholly, I’m okay with airports- they have Starbucks which pleases me, bathrooms that have enough room for me and my accoutrements,(and not creepy blue water; side note, I loathe airplane lavatories and avoid them at all costs. I’m not sure how I’ll avoid them when I travel out of the country someday, but I will find a way–even if it means tranquilizers or a catheter.)

(With) Our stopover now complete, we are now climbing toward the sky and Fort Lauderdale. Turbulence is not my friend (though it seems to find me often enough) and I hope that a Xanax and focus on my writing will keep my knuckles from going white as the bumps become dips and sideways sways and jostles.

The clouds are bright and I see only layer over layer of fluffy moisture.

I do enjoy having others with whom to chat and look forward to the day when I’m not booked solo again. I’d prefer to keep it non-work, but hey, sometimes that uncomfortable office talk passes the time more quickly!

Through my work travels, I’ve had the opportunity to visit places I’d likely never see. I enjoy listing these trips, but I wonder how it would be different to travel to a destination of my choosing and my itinerary, being owned not by a conference or client meeting (not that I dislike either, but work is work and although we sometimes get to go out on these trips, it’s still with coworkers and clients and bound to those constraints. Okay, I’m not kidding anyone who knows anything about where I work and who I work for. I will say no more.)

Looking out the window both fascinates and terrifies me. On one hand, it reminds me of my current precarious position (yes, I know about “lift”) and on the other, it allows me to critique the city planners and view the magnificent natural wonders I’d never otherwise see like the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, etc. Today, the Everglades look a bit like moldy cheese (both pack quite a bite.)

I’ve become a connesoueir of airlines. I remember a conversation had by several of my travel veteran friends regarding airline preferences– at the time I was left out having really only ever flown 3 different carriers (United, US Air, American West (and American Eagle, but it’s an off-shoot so I blended it.) I’ve now experienced another 3 or 4 and can hold my own in a pros and cons of this airline over that airline (pro: Southwest has the funnest coffee stirrers! They are heart shaped. con: American Airlines has tiny seats with NO legroom.) I’ve even flown a couple they haven’t! I feel like part of the club now. Like I’m part of a special group of people. I am a business traveler! RAWR!

There is a small boy behind me querying his parents about every detail of the flight and making observations only a small boy would utter aloud. “Is that a tornado!?” Though he’s a lively diversion and I cannot hide my amused smile at some of his comments, he does say things that make me uncomfortable, forcing me to face the reality that is at the root of my air travel anxiety: we could crash and I could die.

Thankfully, we did not crash (yay!) and I am still alive to recount this journey. I arrived in Fort Lauderdale, took a cab to my hotel, and proceeded to nearly freeze to death in my room. I spent the next 5 and a half hours burrowed under my covers–napping, working, watching tv and wondering when the heck we’d be going to dinner and why I hadn’t eaten lunch.

*(in this post Today is actually Thursday.)

4 thoughts on “Sky Writing”

  1. ha! oh that was great. we out to have a George Carlin themed dinner party sometime. after I get my table in place.

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