The red paint encasing the engine to my right glides past the blue. Seattle beneath me. I watch as it dips further to the side, now contrasting against water and green. A beautiful city although a bit sad. After pulling out my camera to document the view I feel sick; the trail mix swishing around with the latte I had earlier from the chocolate shop. These trips never fail to sap my energy and ravage my otherwise decent complexion. Even though the hotel was user friendly and aside from the first morning (a 4 am wake up for a 6 am flight), the schedule wasn’t necessarily grueling. Not grueling like working in a Chinese computer recycling camp or a diamond mine in Ghana, and probably not as grueling as my high school tenure at Robek’s Juice. I suppose I’m tired from the three days of community complaining about this job and all it entails. “This shit doesn’t pay enough” followed by “fucking __________ .” The food sucks, the money’s shit, the traveling blows, the fittings are long, and the rehearsal is tedious. We are a bunch of insolent children in our mid-twenties.
The woman the seat in front of me is watching CNN. Barack Obama greets hundreds of Berliners: shaking hands and smiling. “Obama is widely popular in Europe” the tag line reads. I try to imagine a foreign political figure being greeted in such a way stateside; that we Americans would put aside our self-centeredness long enough to care about the politicians of another country. The Germans look at him with the kind of hope only generated by those of us who will eventually be able to punch is name in a ballot card.
Her son, this woman’s son, has Alvin and the Chipmunks on. I never realized how ridiculous the basis of the cartoon’s storyline was until seeing Jason Lee pick up a stack of waffles leaking maple syrup from under a rug and glower at three seven-inch tall squirrels. I would watch my own TV but I am stuck in the window seat with an overweight woman plugging up my exit like cork in a bottle of Merlot. The boy’s headphones don’t work and the mother tells him to be patient, saying she will get the flight attendant for help (which she never does). She continues to watch CNN. I can’t help but think that my mother would have switched seats with me so that I could watch the movie.