Lift Off


Don’t forget what it felt like. Don’t forget how your eyes filled. You sat in your chair and you looked out of the window at the tarmac with what? With disbelief? With relief? With bones aching with the wonder that I deserve this? With aching sadness that I would even think that I didn’t? Here I am. On a plane. To Canada. For a conference. Going somewhere for no other reason that someone thought I had something interesting to say.

I held my champagne and realised here – here I am – sitting smack bang in middle of the plane with the wings on either side of me, their white tips curling up to the sky like commas and me its quote. I’m the quote. I’m the fucking quote. Not the comma holding the bitch together, hoping I make sense. I am my own quote. Here. In the sky. Happy. Mine. Don’t forget.

I have not told you I am sitting in Business Class.With an empty seat next to me. I’m practising saying this without justification. It is killing me. But there it is. Okay, a small justification – or an absolute one. The combination of a very dear friend who is a travel agent, an absolute bargain of a fare and the at-the-time-scary-but-it-all-worked-out position of organising the trip before I got my new job and after I’d left my old one.

IMG_0005A window between forms and expense accounts and grant applications. An assurance from my accountant. If I feel that what people really want are long winded descriptions of luxury then sure, I’ll oblige. Suffice to say the flight attendant said: ‘You’re Terrific! I’ve told the others about you. Anything we give you, you just love – you’re so happy.’ Well yes, I am. Thank you. Pass the tissues.

*Postscript: I found the best reason ever to travel Business Class. Apart from the space, the food on real plates with real cutlery, the never ending supply of champagne and the array of bedding option ‘would you prefer a gel memory foam pillow in case your head gets too hot on the normal pillow?’. Why yes I would, thank you. The best reason is to make your mum cry on Mother’s Day. Yep. I rang Mum from Nova Scotia and she wanted every detail and she got it and then we were talking about the conference and All The Things I Have Done and then she was very quiet and finally said ‘good on you Jen’ and I realised she was weepy and then we both were and then Mum said she’d ‘go and clean the fry-pan, that’ll bring me back down to earth’. So she did. Happy Mother’s Day.


Author: amindtotravel

I teach journalism which to me means clear, concise writing with verified facts written within a strong ethical framework. I also want words with enough verve to jump off the page & hijack me to another place. Until then a single malt, netflix & a good lie down will have to do.

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