Between A Kindle and Hard Place

Continued from the dialog in the left…
As luck would have it – when the cabin lights went off so that people like myself, who had nothing to do could go to sleep – the avid reader to my right (I mentioned left, but it was my right – the sandwich was on my left), who had the window seat and no one seated in front of her, she reaches up to her headlight and it does not turn on. From the side of my kind right eye, which has gotten used to looking sideways from ‘Trikonasana’ poses, I see her turning off her kindle, so what do I do? I turn on my light, which shines my inner goodness all over her left side, because these lights always shine too wide. Of course I mention explicitly that she can use my light, so that she can offer explicitly to change seats and let me have the window with no one in front of me. So she says that I really don’t have too, turns on her kindle and starts to read. So now I have an overhead light, nothing to do, and lesser chance of sleeping, but we all know that being able to sleep has little to do with that little light. So I turn to see how the sandwich on my left (used to be right – but I had my sides wrong) is doing. He’s sipping his Starbucks ice coffee and I wish him the he would swallow an ice cube whole. I wish for the ice cube to be just big enough to go down slowly and painfully, and I will not help him. Why should I? He never helped me with anything. Perhaps if he offered me some coffee – not that I wanted it – I could have pointed out that he should be careful with the ice cubes because they were small enough to swallow. How did I get myself on a flight without headphones, without my kindle, without a charged battery on my computer (which has kindle) and without a book – well I forgot that one at home – I did have some intent to have it with me. Apparently he’s doing fine with his coffee, and I took care of her reading problems, so having taken care of them to the best of my ability I try to watch a mute episode of ‘The Office’ on the ceiling TV screen which looks like a 3D movie without 3D glasses, which makes it even harder to try to understand what they are saying, not to mention that they have a tendency to mumble behind each other’s back, so I don’t understand what’s going on. Sandwich puts the coffee cup away, and stewardess pushes a cart offering drinks. Kindle asks for coffee with sugar – she doesn’t need the sugar. I could have laid sideways across her ass and would have melted into it just like Osmo’ blue whale cushion. I’m not saying this to be mean. I just making the point that I turned on my light for her out of pure kindness, I was not hitting on her, not with an ass like that, and the chubby fingers and double chin and watery blue eyes and pink skin, and all this through my trained-to-look-sideways right eye – to which looks are no longer deceiving. As I was saying – I hate it when they have to pass coffee over me. Stewardess forgot the sugar and kindle asked again, and got what she wanted over my empty table. In Kindle’s favor I have to say that she pushed my napkin (they give you napkins to make you think you’ll get pretzels) back over my table when stewardess laid it sloppily over the tip. Sandwich takes good care of himself and asks for sparkling water. I hate people like that. There is no sparkling water on an airplane of a bankrupt airline. It’s ‘soda can’ – it even says ‘soda’ on the can. So he gets a soda can and I decide to show him what health is and ask for cranberry juice which I drink only when Imma can see – which in those occasions is actually pomegranate. Feeling good about myself I look at the can – when they hand out the cans it’s a sign that there’s nothing else to eat – the can says it’s made of ‘concentrate’. I don’t understand how you can make juice from a verb, so I brush the bad news aside and read on. ‘Made from three juices, Apple and Cranberry’ – it says. I count two, and turn the can to the opposite side to look for the third – ‘220 calories’. Just like a can of coke, damn, but it all fits in, no sleep, middle seat, fast food, coke and diet shit, hamburgers and fries, no exercise and no vegetables – at least I turned on my reading light for Kindle. ‘Men with Kids’ replace ‘The Office’ on the 3D screen and I check on Sandwich. He’s reading a book about sales – I can tell because that’s what it says at the top of the page, and I like him less for no particular reason other than a stigma I have for car-sales people – even though he probably works for a more sophisticated company, or he wouldn’t be reading. The book has charts and graphs and nothing worth reading from the side of my eye, so I try to close my eyes and lean back but the head rest in not adjustable and so my neck is too far back so I lean forward and make sure that Kindle is not asleep. I can’t really tell but I give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s enjoying my light. I look out the window, and see nothing which means that we are over Nevada. Texas is a lot of little clumps of lights – a universe of small republican communities, Nevada is empty, so is the corridor leading to LA, but we’re not there yet. I have no idea what the time is, and speculate that three mute 3D shown puts us about half way. Sandwich pulls out a laptop and begins to work on a spread sheet which tells me that he is an annoying manager. You really don’t need spreadsheets if you know your stuff. I have nothing better to do so I read the spreadsheet. It has a column called ‘Country’ which has ‘United States’ going all the way down the screen. Next to it there is a column called ‘Country Code’ which has ‘US’ filling up the column and next to that there is a column whose name I cannot make out but it has ‘USA’ all the way down – so now I know that he is anal and takes good care of his hair. I finish the cranberry Juice and stewardess comes to collect the empty cups (I wish I could say glasses but those are from my business class day which is long gone by now). Stewardess takes her time, but everyone has their cups in the air anxious not to keep stewardess waiting. Kindle is no exception and I don’t like coffee cups over me so I signal for her to drop her narrower Styrofoam cup into my wider plastic one. She doesn’t hesitate, thanks me and goes back to reading without offering to change seats. Stewardess takes my cup, relieves sandwich of his, and I go back to killing time making room for a sharp finger nail tip cut to close which is hurting my flesh. Another half program goes by and sandwich pulls out the cross word puzzle in the in-flight magazine ‘located in the seat pocket in front of you/us/me/him’. He doesn’t seem to do so well so I pull open my copy of the magazine and flip to the cross word puzzle. Fortunately the person flying before me did better than sandwich and the bankrupt airline did not replace the magazine. I hide my hands so sandwich cannot tell whether I have a pen or not, and let him get a general impression of the larger number of filled spaces on my puzzle but I don’t let him copy, I keep shifting the magazine getting even for the coffee, and food and his computer battery, and good hair and his anal character. Sandwich gives up pretty easily (much better than I could have done on my own but I don’t dwell on that), pulls out his iPhone and starts shooting down space ships and farm animals. He’s is a world of bliss as we descend towards LA. I watch the glitter of lights; LA is much prettier at night from the air. Kindle reads until the very last minute.

When the plane stopped Sandwich had to move back to get his bag and disappeared from my life. Kindle, who has thanked me enough, got on with hers, and I was left with fond memories of myself.