Sometimes I marvel at why goes on in my head. I suppose, now that I’m considering it, that. These thoughts actually occur to everyone, and maybe no one is okay with admitting it. Maybe the Warren Ellises and Chuck Palahniuks of the world are not so rarified as I like to think, except I. That they’ll talk and write about things that other people find too unpleasant…
Anyway, as I imagine occurs to just about anyone who steps foot on an airplane, I’m in my seat pondering the idea of the plane going down, imaginable over the East coast of Florida (on this trip, at least). And (weirdly to everyone that I’ve ever told this to) I’m not really bothered by that thought. Not that I relish it, but when it’s time, it’s time, so why stress about it? In fact, if its inevitable and out of my control – and in that moment, happening – I’d personally prefer and therefore choose to enjoy the last few minutes that I’ve got. Right?
Well, agree or don’t. That’s my answer, and I’m sticking with it.
What is odd, to me, is where that thought took itself. I figure, at cruising altitude, you’ll probably realize that the end is near with a few minutes to spare – enough time to not only realize what’s happening but to do a thing or two. Most people would panic, of course. Some (like me) would fire off a text or try to make a phone call to a loved one – significant other, family, best friend. So that’s first on my list, followed (while I’ve got my wireless connection running) by a smart-ass but hopefully quippy and memorable tweet, cross-posted to Facebook. Everyone wants to have quotable famous last words, so I gotta give that a shot if I’ve got notice.
This flight, for instance, inspires a thought or two about the irony (or lack thereof) of dying so close to the toilet closet. Seriously, there’s not a better design for airplane bathroom placement?
But then I spent twenty minutes winding what song I wanted to go down to. And this became an overriding obsession for the next twenty minutes, and now that I can turn on electronics without causing panic in the sky, I’ve spent thirty more minutes flipping through my iPod trying to figure it out. Foo Fighters A320? Too literal. Devin Townsend seems appropriate on many levels, but I don’t think I can pick one song that sums everything up appropriately. Steve Vai, Queen, VAST, Porcupine Tree all get their turn, flipping through song after album after song, building yet another morbid playlist for eventual upload (with vague and pretentious title, no less) to 8tracks…
This, by the way, is why you should put me in a window seat, not in the back of the plane. Distract me with pretty clouds.
I eventually settled on Steven Wilson’s Drive Home, by the way. Probably trying to time it so the solo peaking would be the last thing to go through my head, aside from the talkative Air Force dude in front of me.