They say it’s unsavory—perhaps ungentlemanly—to bring a plastic bottle of Malbec to a Broadway opening. Like it would be for Kiss to croon and wail as the opening act for Yanni. Or the Pope to wear a baseball cap.
But here at 37.000 feet, all bets are off. Much like me, belief is suspended in a pillow of surrealism—away from the world and beyond its tenets of normalcy. Up here, I can imagine the very impossible and dream the dream that joins it.
For example: Why is it in day-to-day life, aggressively pinned to the ground by martinetical gravity, it’s so horrible to drink a glass of wine at 1o o’clock in the morning and yet, when tossled about on a plane, it’s quite a natural thing indeed? Or, for that matter, why do we think pizza from Pizza Hut is such a good idea as we crawl into a red-eye flight, when we scoff at its greasy inferiority every other day of the year?
We are creatures of habit and custom, that is true, and nowhere is that more evident that in the ritual surrounding flight. Human beings do not naturally fly, and our technology has made the endeavor so drawn-out and onerous that we instinctively respond with a defeated flailing of hands in the air. “Tomorrow I will return to habit,” we say. “Today I shall do as I please.”
Which is why I almost bought cigars to go with my anchovy pizza this morning, toying with the idea of a green tea with vanilla syrup, all while wiling away an hour before boarding time. The sad part is, commercial America has caught on. I mean, where else can you find a fishing supply store next to a brewpub alongside a cotton candy hub? Find that on the ground—away from airport shenanigans—and you’d think it was the most schizophrenic mall this country has ever created. But in the avenues of the sky, it all works.
Which reminds me, I need to get that cherry pie for my mid-flight snack. I’m thinking of pairing it with a Bloody Mary because… well… why the hell not?