29 November 2013

The Unreliable Narrator's Uneventful Flight

Most people who know me understand I don't do well flying in airplanes. That's why whenever I'm prescribed Hydrocodone after a dental procedure or any other painful injury, I save those pain killers for days like yesterday, a day that could have been the worst day of my life. That's right, I flew in an airplane...while on dope.

I take a pill just before the security checkpoint where they make you spread your legs and put your hands in the air so all the TSA agents can gawk at you in all their power, glory, and cheesy outfits. After the full body scan is complete, the guard waves me through without a hitch. I giggle slightly because my daughter is pulled aside for further inspection. Apparently, her Miss Me jeans were too blingy.

I have this well planned out, because it's the third time I've traveled in this state of mind. I take a pill about 30 minutes before take off and I'm good to go, usually laying over either in Charlotte or Atlanta. The hour or two delay in either city's airport is not a problem as they have establishments serving up draft beer, which puts a loopy spin on the pain killer.

The second flight boards at 8:15 p.m. and I'm feeling relaxed. Matter of fact, flying is a breeze. Why anyone would have a problem with flying is beyond me. I check out all the nervous passengers and give each a wide smile. Some I wink at, "I got this. Piece of cake." They stare back at me, worry on their faces. I reassure them, everything is going to be fine.

Flight takes off. All is good. My daughter has the seat behind me. The flight will be fifty two minutes according to the flight attendant speaking over the intercom. There must be fifteen babies on this flight, all crying in unison. The more babies on the flight, the less likely the plane will go down. Why? Because God loves babies.

The intercom system activates again and we are promised  refreshments shortly.

Perfect. I order a Miller Lite. The attendant is super nice. Positive vibes rub off.

The lady next to me orders apple juice for her 10 year old son and a Diet Coke for herself. Her son spills both, but I'm cool as a cucumber and drink my beer.

I feel a couple bumps and drops and people around me look at each other and all around. But I'm good. I smile and nod at a few. They turn away, holding the arms of their chairs a little too tightly. The babies even stop crying and it is as if everyone is holding their breaths. Not me. I'm cool as a cucumber.

Then my daughter touches my shoulder from behind, "Mom, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine."

A few hours later, the alcohol leaves my system and we're in our hotel room. My daughter is bewildered and appears animated while talking about our flight. Apparently, the plane had an unusual amount of turbulence and people on the plane were freaking out. I would have been one of those people had I not saved up my pain killers like a squirrel creating their stash of acorns for the winter.

What on earth does this have to do with making progress? A year ago, we would have wasted 12 hours driving to our destination. I've learned to be more efficient with my time. Though I do not condone the use of prescription medication for purposes which they are not prescribed, on occasion, I put the finger to such policies for the sake of my own comfort. To me, that's progress!

P.S. This is a fictitious character telling the details of our flight to Roanoke. I refuse to incriminate myself. It's fiction with a little bit of truth. Call it the unreliable narrator. ;)

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