Tuesday, November 22, 2011

crash

  
  
“I hate flying,” I said to the woman next to me. I don’t make a habit of talking to strangers but I figured since we were stuck in Economy for the better part of the morning, it wouldn’t hurt to pass the time with a new friend. “Though they say you’re more likely to die of heart disease than a plane crash.” She smiled politely at me as she plugged her earphones in. I had half a mind to tell her she’s not allowed to play music during takeoff but as I glanced at her iPod, I noticed it wasn’t even on. So much for making new friends.

When we hit a stable altitude, I decided I should probably take a nap. I wasn’t really sleepy. I just didn’t have anything better to do. Smarter travellers would’ve brought a book or a gadget of some sort. I had the inflight magazine and half a KitKat. I didn’t want to look like a loser so I figured sleep’s the only thing left to do. I shut my eyes. One by one, the sounds around me started to fade away. Within minutes, I found myself sleeping miles above the earth.

I didn’t get much sleep though. Of all things, it was the oxygen masks that woke me. I quickly took the one that hit me and put it over my mouth. The plane shook violently as the pilot talked to us about lightning and where we were trying to land. The stewardesses fought hard to keep their balance and their composures. One was helping an elderly woman with her life vest. Another was barking out instructions. Put this on! Pull both at the same time! Women with infants! I looked around me. The woman next to me was in tears, her paperback soaking in a puddle of coffee. The overhead bins flew open as bags threw themselves at unsuspecting passengers. Couples held on to each other as though love could get them through a plane crash. The religious clutched rosaries and prayed. In the middle of it all, I was strangely calm. I wasn’t afraid. I was thinking of you.

The plane ripped open and one by one, the seats flew out like they do in cartoons. My seat ejected soon enough. The clouds and the cold air felt sharp as I passed through them. The city lights looked like stars. I mapped out the bridges and skyscrapers like they were constellations. I floated aimlessly, my heart fearless, my mind hell-bent on a destination.

I wanted to float to you. In my mind, I pictured landing on your doorstep. You would open the door and let me in. It would be awkward at first, you not knowing exactly what I was doing or how I got there. Me, heavily burdened by all that I couldn’t but wanted to say. If that happens, would all the things we couldn’t talk about stop mattering? Or would we still be afraid of all we had to lose?

I’d like to think that at that moment, it would just be me and you and no one else. No meddling friends, deep-set issues or exes who refuse to be forgotten. There’s only us and the bright opportunity to fall in love. We’d hug and it would feel like we found missing parts of ourselves in each other. Our hearts would start beating in tune. We’d kiss in sweet slow motion, like honey dripping or something pretentiously poetic like that. Maybe a few birds would sing. There would be a double rainbow. But none of that would matter because we’d be lost in each other’s embrace.

The only thing worse than waking up from a nightmare is to wake up from a silly dream. We will never meet. We will never touch. We are too fucked up to let go. The pilot announced that we’d landed early. I stood up to get my carry-on. I turned my phone on to check my messages. There was one from the office, another from an old friend. I tapped compose.

“Just landed. The airport is five different shades of lonely.” Not that you asked. Not that you will.

♫: Jason Mraz | Plane (2005)
Photo: airplane window / pixlr.com

54 comments:

  1. please return your seat to its upright position...

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  2. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to land. Please return the steward(ess) to his original upright position."

    Kidding aside, this was an excellently written story. The emptiness in that last line reminded me of my last trip to Taiwan five years ago. It was the last trip of a nine year long distance love. Neither of us wanted it to end, but the distance killed it. Different shades of lonely always leave just one kind of shadow: Black.

    Rick

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  3. @LOF: in one of this story's first drafts, I had airline spiels that I googled. but then something about the words sinturong pangkaligtasan left a bad taste in my mouth. lol

    now if only hearts could be as easily restored to their upright positions. chos

    @Rick: I really like that part about the shadow. let me borrow it one of these days ha. :)

    it sounds like you had quite the experience. it's funny how we think love is so strong when truth is, it takes so little to suck it dry. sad. :(

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  4. The shadow line is yours! Yes, no matter what our hearts try to con us into, at some point reality snaps its fingers and makes us look at what we stand to gain against what we stand to lose. Or at least not gain.

    The reality was he wanted to be near his family and culture. I could have stayed there, but I too, had to think of my parents, both entering the "golden years." Dad did become very ill, passing last year, and now my mother ( I'm her only child) is 86. Though in good health, I must be here for her.

    This world is small in so many ways. It's far too big in others.

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  5. ‎'it seems that he was trusting her to just stand there for a moment, as though there were so many important things they could have said to each other that they didn't need to say any of them at all.'

    -my name is memory, ann brashares

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  6. @Rick: I'm gonna quote you anyway. lol

    you ever wonder if there's a world where you chose each other? what would it be like. it's so gwyneth in sliding doors. :)

    yes, the size of the world is too many times relative.

    @Geek: oh my goodness. that's so beautiful. I must read that book. *scribbles on notebook* thanks moi! :)

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  7. Well, hopefully it would truly be "choosing" each other, and not like Gwyneth. No matter which reality she took the damn doors seemed to have the upper hand. ( or door handle).

    Seems that in my mind, and probably everyone else's, what we would choose is such an idealized version, that it precludes it ever being real. And anyway, I tend to like and appreciate the flaws and imperfections: They give a lover character. And in some instances, they give US character as well....

    Hum...make sense??

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  8. @Rick: those damn doors. lol poor gwyneth didn't stand a chance.

    perhaps it's the writer in you that appreciates the character building aspect. because for everyone else, it just effing sucks. haha I once wrote about memories and how they airbrush our partners flaws away. there was also a post about how we can borrow memories from the future. it seems only right that I sit down and write about how much we glorify "the one that got away." and I already have the perfect soundtrack. it's a toss up between Katy perry and pink. lol

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  9. I'll go with Pink. She can be kinda skanky at times, but well, there's that "character" I was alluding to!! :)

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  10. @Rick: pink is pink. she's always going to have a spot in my iPod and heart. lol but don't you think Katy has character too? she was a gospel singer before she kissed a girl (and liked it!)

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  11. yeah, those gospel, preacher kid types ya gotta watch! She has that "I'm a cute lil gurl voice" that really annoys me because every other cute lil gurl has it too, and they all sound the same. BUT. Underneath that commercial aspect she has a VOICE that she's not using to full potential, I must opine! (Gaga is another one who isn't singing to her full potential. She's one hell of a jazz singer!!)

    Now I really like Katy's song "If I Die Young", but I really really like Sam Tsui's version of it, for two reasons: First, he's very talented and interprets the song perfectly, even if close to the original. And second, I wanna do him!!

    LOL! Oh gawd I'm such a creep!

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  12. such an amazing writer City buoy. And it's really cool hopping back in here everytime. It helps me think what's best to post on my page.

    thanks much. nice story!

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  13. Hey, I had done adding your link on my personal blog.

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  14. @Rick: not familiar with that song. hmmm... must google.

    Sam is cute. don't worry. I doubt if a little crush makes you a creep. otherwise, me watching glee would be such a creepfest!

    @Tim: wow, that's such a nice thing to say. thanks Tim! glad I could help. :)

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  15. Hmm... I never experienced riding a plane before. After reading this, I don't know if I even want to ride one. Haha.

    Its nice reading this, there is something refreshing about this post.

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  16. @Orange: Wag naman. those poor airlines. di ka nila maeexperience. lol

    Thanks for dropping by! :)

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  17. Five different shades of lonely. Haha. I like this line.

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  18. @Rei: Aww thanks man. did you see what Rick added to it? super loved the line more. :p

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  19. various of the registered will be experiencing various states of airflight (international and domestic that is) within the next month, i will have a full report before new years.

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  20. @LOF: Can't wait! haha Whether this is physical or metaphorical flying, I'm sure it'll be pretty entertaining. lol

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  21. yes. i will have homeopathic motion sickness pills on hand for every moment... they have been responsive to that remedy on the boats we've used previously, so we'll see

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  22. @LOF: Ugh, cannot believe I have to wait three months till I get to see you guys. :( Lemme know if the pills work. I obviously hate flying and I'm willing to try anything to make it easier.

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  23. I couldn't help but think that you actually sacrificed an entire plane (with actual helpless people inside it) just to get a perfect landing? haha

    the entry's romanticised so well the gore was artfully put aside. either that was a scary - or someone from fight club just really heartlessly imagined a plane dis-assembling mid-air by its blueprint.

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  24. @Alter: Taray diba? I had to crash an entire plane to let someone know how I felt. lol

    I'd like to think it was romanticized but truth is, I think it's more vicious that I'd like for it to be. hehe

    Why are you so sharp, Alter?

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  25. i'm not. some things just get easily cut.

    can I ask something, how long does it take for you to compose an entry?

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  26. @LOF: Coolness! haha I have a flight on the 26th. The last flight wasn't that painful so I'm hoping I don't need to take anything

    @Alter: It depends. This one was relatively quick. I had parts of it drafted on the plane and the actual "writing" process took about twenty minutes. Some posts take longer. Usually, it's the ones that hurt that are difficult to commit to paper.

    How long does it take you?

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  27. sorry I had to ask, i never had consistency in writing, so i had to ask someone who consistently delivers while the quality does not drop. i am definitely slower when I really want it to come out 'specially crafted'. just noticed when I feel something special, it writes itself. (so i'll check the next time i attempt to write.)

    many may not notice, but when it comes to passion in writing, just like in drag racing, speed is everything. i asked you for reference.

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  28. @Alter: While I'm very happy that you asked me, can I just say I'm probably not the best person to ask. :/ There are weeks (like this week) where muses abandon me and I can try real hard but I can't seem to settle on a post.

    But then when I revisit these crude posts weeks later, they suddenly come to life. Kaaliw lang yung ganung moments.

    And yes, special moments definitely write themselves. I think for bloggers like us, we just need to have a delicate balance between posts that wrote themselves and those we have to "specially craft." It's a lesson I learned the hard way pero it's become my guiding light ever since.

    Char. lolz

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  29. I have a fear of flying. A fear that was reinforced after I watched a few episodes of NatGeo's Aircrash Investigation... My friends wouldn't believe me.

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  30. @Pinay Travel Junkie: Hello! Welcome to my blog! Ang curious naman. You enjoy travelling but you're afraid of flying. Pwedeng gawan ng kwento. lol

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  31. bring some thinly sliced ginger OR go to Ongpin and get some candied ginger to chew on. its impossible to get motion sickness while chewing on ginger...

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  32. @LOF: I'll take note of that. But motion sickness isn't that much of an issue. It's the painful pressure. I've tried everything but it still hurts. haha

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  33. the power of dreams...minsan nga mas masarap nalang itulog ang mga gumugulo sa isipan natin e :-)

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  34. @Mac: tutugtog na ba ang reo speedwagon? lol

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  35. the people who can save us are actually the people who gave us so much pain. sad truth.

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  36. @Jennechrisville: Why hello there PBA2011 Finalist for Best Beauty & Fashion Blog! :)

    I think anyone who has a capacity to make you very happy can also do the exact opposite.

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  37. The most amazing part about some of your posts is that when I read them, I actually feel sad. And that's a good thing :O

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  38. @TalkTheTalk: Thanks, I think. I hope it didn't make you too sad. :(

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  39. why didn't you say so:

    http://www.dansa.org/downloads/The%20Divers%20Complete%20Guide%20to%20the%20Ear.pdf

    that will give you every possible method for relief. if the Valvalsa method doesn't work, try the others.

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  40. Wag mo nang palakihin ang ulo ko. hahaha!!! First time eh. hahaha!!!

    good luck with The Sorry Story pala! Shocks!!! 2 nominations in a year?? kalurks!!!

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  41. @LOF: Thanks! That should come in real handy when I fly out on Christmas. :p

    @Gervin: OMG I didn't even know! I just found out din. Kalowka!!!

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  42. hayzzzzz...this is definitely one of those really good haunting read :-)

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  43. @E: So it's true. You are back. It's not often that I welcome a blog superstar to my little space here. Thanks for dropping by.

    @Spiral: I know, I know. Haay, whoever said it's easier to write about happy shit had a good thing coming. lol

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  45. when you are up there, enjoy what's up there. it's too fleeting not paying attention is a big miss. otherwise, don't fly.

    ain't the idea of falling makes flying a lot thrilling? :)

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  46. I've been rereading this story. I wanted to see whether how I feel about it will change.

    Hay Nyl, I love the line where you said "The only thing worse than waking up from a nightmare is to wake up from a silly dream."

    Perhaps. Or perhaps, there are worse things. But we will never know, will we?

    Kane

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  47. Naa man. Told you.. it's happy sad :)

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  48. @Pepe: Typical me to overthink these things. And yes, it's definitely thrilling. :p

    @Kane: Haaay Kane. Feeling ko gets na gets mo where I was coming from. Haaaay... sana umulan ng fearlessness no? Penge naman ako ng konti. haha

    @TalkTheTalk: Thanks! :)

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  49. I like travelling (except the flying part). Everything would be so much easier if we could just teleport from one place to another a la Star Trek beam-me-up-scotty. Wait, is that teleportation? lol

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  50. Visual Velocity: I obviously hate flying too. lol I can't wait for teleportation to be part of our reality! Right now, it's not even a word!

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  51. You are so magaling. I love the last line. “Just landed. The airport is five different shades of lonely.”

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  52. Leomer: And the line that Rick added makes it so much better!

    "Different shades of lonely always leave just one kind of shadow: Black."

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