by Laura Vincent
Laura Vincent is a writer from New Zealand. She has a 12 year-old food blog, hungryandfrozen.com, and is working on her first novel.
Up the Front of the Plane
It’s a different world up the front of the plane
happy and calm
grapefruit juice squeezed in front of you
A view of the Eiffel tower from every window—
A person could fall in love up here
Excuse me, looks like I’m sitting beside you—
It’s a local silicon millionaire! An Australian rockstar on tour! American actor Dianne Wiest!
Down the back where I normally sit
Warm and damp as a microwaved bread roll
The babies cry silently
and the adults cry loudly
and for some reason we have to watch the safety video three times
Up the front
Your time is too important
A posh Frenchman compliments my Bart Simpson phone case
It cost two dollars, I say, it would have been false economy not to buy it!
Mine cost seventy-five dollars, he replies, it’s so boring!
He laughs robustly and I laugh too
I guess that was funny
The Frenchman offers further rich person observational humour:
Disneyland is cool, but too crowded!
So tiny, I agree, fuck Monaco!
He went to Fiji for his birthday
He’s sick of New Caledonia
I ran out of anecdotes somewhere over Taupō
I tell him I’m rich—his eyes light up—in life experiences, I conclude
We taxi to the air bridge in gloomy silence
the romance is over
and he doesn’t offer to share an uber into town
On the flight back I’m in seat 71B
Where I belong
and the staff explain the overhead compartment is full
I have to hold a large blue suitcase on my lap
belonging to the politician in seat 2A
May I get a fresh grapefruit juice for my trouble, I ask
As the politician giggles
And I begin to cough involuntarily
And I see possibilities blooming in the distance
In that far-off world
We don’t know what you’re talking about, says the flight attendant
and the safety video plays for the third time.