The Red Barron Takes to the Skies

When I arrived at my gate after walking a full mile to the furthest reaches of the airport, I peered out the window and was faced by the reality of my decision to take the propeller plane rather than crossing one of the scariest bridges in America. “Oh my.” I thought. “Did I make a mistake? Oh well, there is no turning back now.”

So I boarded the 44-passenger plane and settled into my window seat in row 5. I stared out the window and noticed the propeller looming large just feet from where I sat. I wondered what would happen if the propeller disengaged from its spot. “Would it sail to the right before plummeting to earth, or would it crash through the window and slice me to pieces?”

I knew I was being ridiculous, but I was not thrilled when I realized that there was no window shade to hide my view. I buckled myself tightly into my seat and looked around, taking particular note of the exits. This time I listened intently to the safety discussion by the flight attendant. I imagined that the man piloting the plane was adjusting his goggles and his scarf as he prepared for takeoff.

When the engines roared to life, I took a deep breath and settled back in my seat, prepared to begin my adventure. The plane began to vibrate, much like one of those beds in a tacky motel room I remember seeing in old movies. The noise of the engines was loud.

The movement tickled each part of my body, from my head clear down to my toes. The plane continued its climb until it finally leveled off at twenty-two thousand feet. The vibration subsided, but the noise continued. If I had had a seat companion, we would have been unable to chat.

I looked out of the window beyond the propeller to watch the miniature buildings disappear from view. I opened my book and settled back for the ride, which was surprisingly uneventful. I ordered my beverage and tore open my “meal” of two crunchy biscotti. (Incidentally, the plural is not biscottis.)

Less than two hours later we began our descent, and I silently congratulated myself. I concluded that I would have no difficulty boarding this plane in four days for my return trip home. It was not as bad as I had imagined.