It had been so long since she’d been on a plane. And years since her last long haul flight. She had forgotten the discomfort of sitting in the same place for so long. But she’d also forgotten the quiet, the isolation. Even sitting next to someone, it was almost a separate experience. They had shared some simple conversation before takeoff of course, but once in the air, the headphones went on and they watched their separate screens, kept to themselves.
For her, the quiet isolation used to be the perfect time to write. She hadn’t written since that last long haul flight. Not really. And she missed it. Not the flying. But the writing. That time alone, extracting all the thoughts from her mind and putting them down as text on a screen. She had time alone at home, for sure, but there was always something to do, something to distract her, something to watch.
Up here, it was easier to focus somehow.
She had faltered a little this time. Writing small pieces that didn’t go anywhere, didn’t go together. She had put the phone away and closed her eyes, music on, but she was focused more on the deep drone of the airplane in the background than the lyrics.
After some time, maybe three or four songs, she leaned forward, adjusting her shoulders, stretching slightly. She grabbed her phone and just started to write.
It occurred to her that she almost always writes from another’s perspective, as if someone is looking in on her life, poking around in her brain. So much easier to write “she” than “I”.
That amused her. And make her more thoughtful. She was glad to be getting back into the groove. But she also longed to be off the plane. The person sitting next to her had asked her how long her next flight was and she confessed that she hadn’t checked. Her seat mate thinks it’s another 14 hours. Surely there will be time for some good writing on that leg.
For now, she was content to just let the words come. She barely hesitated as she wrote, her two thumbs flying across the keyboard. Next time, she will aim to form a story, or at least give life to a character rather than herself.
I found this little snippet on my phone this morning while I was looking for a certain list. I love that last line… ‘or at least give life to a character rather than herself’. It’s so much easier to focus on others and maybe avoid really looking at yourself.
Something to think about.