London to Detroit: Life, Death and Popcicles at 38,000ft.Submitted by electrictoothsyndrome at 2005-10-11 00:51:18 EDT
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Somewhere over the North Atlantic...38,212ft. up...
Four hours into the return flight. The plane has all these neat little monitors in the backs of the seats, 'Pimp My Ride' style, that show you the plane's groundspeed and altitude, the temperature outside the cabin, your location on a map...all that stuff. They also show movies, but I am bored with the movies they have available - especially considering that half of them are all chopped to pieces in case some snot-nosed kid happens to be sitting in the seat next to me and his fragile mind can't handle the sight of a little blood or, god-forbid, Janet Jackson's nipple. Whatever. Wait till the little bastard grows some hair on his testicles and starts masterbating in secret to the underwear catalogue his mother carelessly left on the coffee table...then she can blame the underwear industry for her child's healthy sexuality instead of paying for the years of therapy that would be necessary if she had her way and he never got any kind of pussy at all - not even the hand-shaped variety.
But this is all nonsense in my present state of altitude. As things stand, I am looking down upon the atlantic ocean, and it is beautiful. This is the first time I've ever seen the ocean in any capacity - not to mention from 7 miles up. We're now somewhere off the coast of Greenland - judging by our blip on the monitor maybe three or four hundred miles. The sea looks like a popcicle that was left in the freezer too long. You know the kind - those longish ones that come in different colors and clear plastic wrapping you have to pull apart, and you never could get enough of as a kid...the ones that always ended up getting that white coating of freezer burn on the outside of the wrapper. The Atlantic looks like one of the blue ones. 'Polarberry Blue™' or some such shit. I wasn't a fan of that flavor, but gimmie an unlimited supply of 'Little Orphan Orange™' or 'Alexander the Grape™' and I'll die a happily malnourished man.
Below me, icebergs litter the sea like bits of discarded styrofoam. It's the Titanic's worst nightmare, or a movie executive's wet dream. Either way, it's gotta be the goddamn asteroid field of the sea. Traversing that in a fucking boat would be like driving a car around those orange cones on a test course after you've been issued a dose of experimental animal tranquilizers. How cool would it be, though, to equip your cruise vessel with some high-powered, military-grade cannons along the sides and let the passengers take their turn blasting away at them! Even better if they are home to a colony of seal or albatross! Then the carnage would be starkly contrasted by the pure white arctic ice. You know what blood looks like on snow? Like a cherry snowcone.
Eventually, the plane reaches the coast of Canada somewhere over Newfoundland.
I never knew Canada had so many damned lakes. It's like you'd need to either wear stilts or be Jesus to get around in this country. I should move here and become a salesman of amphibious vehicles and hovercrafts. I'd make millions! Well...that is if people actually lived there, I would.
The weirdest thing about the Canadian terrain from this vantage point, though, is this perfectly straight white line that divides the land for what must be about 300 or 400 miles - as far as the eye can see. What the hell IS that!?!? It's like an ancient landing strip for some extremely large alien spacecraft. Gotta be. No other explanation presents itself. Faults are just not that straight. It's not a road because it traverses everything in its path indiscriminately. Could it be that they're really not straight lines after all? Could it be that if I were to back far enough away, it would form a giant McDonald's insignia - some interstellar advertisement? Or could it be just a part of a letter in a sentence across the whole of Canada that says something childish like 'kick me' or 'invade here first'? Hell if I know. But it's these many questions, I'm sure, that will help fuel the space race for generations to come, if not simply justify the many spy satellites we shall situate above our northerly neighbors.
Looking out my little oval window, the earth looks like a relief map - all bumpy and eroded. Fault lines are clearly visible - ancient vestiges of the earth's shattering temperament. From this distance, the rivers look like trees - all splayed out like computer generated chaos. Rare patches of populous give a sort of profane beauty to nature's great guitar solo of rivers and lakes and cocaine-colored glaciers. Highways lie like drunken tatoos or a child's first Etch-A-Sketch™ creation - all criss-crossed and irregular over city-speckled terrain. From this ungodly height, towns are like grease stains, popped from some stratospheric frying pan, as gods back away so as not to stain their holy vestments.
Looking to the horizon over Lake Huron, it's difficult to tell where the sky ends and the water begins. Coming upon land again, you can see where the water shallows from the deepest unintelligible blue, full of secrets, through an assorment of vegetable greens, all the way to the mucky brown of muddy, melting land, where a patchwork of properties takes over through the vaporous glaze of jet engine exhaust. From here I can only assume they just keep lumbering on and on into the distance as we prepare for landing.
Pulse quickens. Knuckles whiten. I look to the end of the wing. It's bouncing. Pockets of air rise and decend like suns and moons and paupers and kings - taking the plane and everyone on board with them.
I guess all rides are a little bumpy - especially the ones that get you somewhere.