No matter how many times I travel, or how often, I get nervous. Especially if I’m leaving directly from my family. Twice so if it’s at night. We joke about who to call if I go missing (ex-special forces, coast-guard divers, rich distant relatives) all real people for a fake situation. We smirk at the far-fetched, yet nod solemnly to admit it is possible. We’ve a vague contingency plan, should a screen-play-like one be needed.
I’m flying Ukraine International Airlines. They offered me money and additional adventure, see Consider Kiev & Where We Find Our Truths for more. Long-haul red-eyes have a camaraderie other flights don’t. Even more when most passengers are of the same culture. I’m the outsider, observing the people in their matching sweat-suites, soft white skin, blonde funky hair and Slovakian speak.
The women are like grown American Girl Dolls, but with wide faces, wide eyes, submissive smiles and a manner of mischievous innocence. I was benevolently bewildered, but allured by the thrill that they all seemed straight from a spy-novel, as if women of the Ukraine play a role of a smitten sex-kitten, that turns double agent and crosses man for country. In fact, everyone at the airport had a part in this delusional story of romance and espionage that unfolded in my mind. May they be accomplices or bystanders, agents or pawns, they were all honey-potting, scotching the plot or being played.
Rosy cheeks, soft pale skin, strawberry blonde hair, round doughy eyes with dreamscape color and long lashes. Their lips were thin, or maybe their mouths were just small. They’d make great house-wives my thoughts explored further. They’ve a soft touch in the way they carried about. I was sensing strong relationship loyalty, or was it obedience? I observed the couples surrounding me. The women were docile and nurturing, and innately intimidated. However, a part of me believes their hearts also harbor an evil that could strike if cultivated and cornered. Or, I’m back to being engulfed by spy-novel-nonsense.
In the first half of the haul to Istanbul, I’m seated in the way back, squeezed between the window and a friendly, goonning*, Ukrainian truck-driver. He’s even bigger with his bubble jacket, which he never took off. I say a silent pray for protection from anxiety and claustrophobia. I sleep until some jet-rumbling turbulence about 4-hours in. Shouldn’t we be above the weather by now, not experiencing any such turbulence? Maybe if I fall back asleep my passing will be peaceful. MИP
*made-up verb from noun: goon