Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Thought I Was Going to Die Today

It started as a normal day- well, better than normal actually. The California sun was peeking gently through the shades and I arose to the smell of waffles and poached eggs for breakfast. After consuming the tasty treat, I had a refreshing run through the neighborhood and then headed off to the airport.

Despite text messages throughout the day from my friend in Boulder that the wind was absolutely insane to the point of blowing over trucks, I did not think it would have such a drastic impact on my day. I was in error to think that. The poor little planes just trying to do their job and land in Denver were having an awful time, and therefore delayed my flight scheduled for 3:45 to 4:55. This delay, though it gave me time to people-watch and catch up with essentially most of the contacts in my phone, was far from desirable.

Being put in a less-than-pleasant mood by all of this, I was only more angered by the two girls that I considered at that point to be the worst seat-neighbors I had ever had on a plane. That is saying a lot considering the amount I fly. I have really had it all, but these girls were two twenty-somethings whose vocabulary consisted of the word "like", the phrase "oh my God", and others that can be heard on any MTV reality show. I thought I was going to lose my mind as I listened to one of them talk about how, like, she met the cutest guy who was like totally in LOVE with her, but like, not LOVE love, ya know, just like, really like! My iPod headphones, try as they might, never had a chance of drowning them out.

I felt relief wash over me and my headache begin to subside when the pilot announced our initial descent into Denver. However, these feelings quickly changed to terror when the plane was thrown into the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. The entire plane jolted from side to side and it felt like my stomach was in my throat at each intense rapid drop of elevation. I was sweating like a pig and as I looked around I could see that all the other passengers were as white-faced as I. I felt awful about judging the girls beside me as the one to my immediate left tried to comfort me and asked if I was alright. I told her I was rather nervous and she held onto my arm. It was really nice to have that connection, especially when I felt like I was going to die.

Thankfully, all ended well and now I am here to write about it, but I cannot remember the last time I felt such terror, and yet such relief at human connections.

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