I stare into my computer screen trying to do the reading that my university has so thoughtfully assigned before the semester has even begun. I lose focus and the screen goes black but I continue to stare, now at my reflection, tracing the contours of my face. I am vain like that. Soon I give up and decide to try and sleep. I am exhausted because this is the third flight on my trip to Costa Rica that started at 11:00 last night. People always look absurd sleeping in planes but really, they are the smart ones. I, however, am not one of those informed, think-ahead people that dutifully brought a neck pillow so I could lean back and drift off like a pro. Instead I have my large purple knit beanie that I pull on and over my eyes to block out the light, the noise, and the stiff air from the twisty thing above me that shoots it out right at my head.
The couple beside me have been asleep for over an hour (they are pros) and I’m afraid that when I reach to turn off my shooty air thing I will whack the wife in the face. Also, it would take too much effort. I pull out the tray table on the seat back in front of me and proceed to plop my head and upper body onto it in an effort to get some shut eye. This position, I have found, actually works much better than leaning my chair back because I usually sleep on my stomach. It is tricky though, because it leaves my head poking into the seat in front of me and I’m sure the person in that seat is not appreciating the jabbing in their back.
These are the meandering efforts of the inflight novice on the flight after the red eye and connection that they already took. Brain cells leave and human existence is reduced to yes and no answers to flight attendants, failures at tasks you always thought would occupy you and debating over and over whether or not to try and turn off that damn air shooty thing that is making your head so cold.