Except for the wind, it was magical. My fairy godmother AKA my newest daughter-in-law was flying me into the City That Never Sleeps for Danger Baby's twenty-sixth birthday surprise.
We were definitely humping and bumping in our little AirTran jet from Atlanta as we neared La Guardia. Beginning our descent I was loving the golden twinkly lights of New York, recognizing the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, and admiring the lights of the bridges. Descending lower I noticed a large sculpture of the Earth. But wait, we were ascending again and still bumping around like crazy. The pilot came on the speaker to tell us our aircraft is equipped with a wind sheer alert system, and we couldn't land at this time.
We would circle counter-clockwise again over the twinkly golden lights. Then we would circle clockwise, and everyone on the plane would concentrate on breathing IN 1-2-3 and exhaling OUT 1-2-3. We went past the Earth sculpture again.
To barf or not to barf? That is the question. I don't want to retrieve the paper barf bag because my sister says that back seat pouch is the home of all Cooties. Anxiety, I know, is "the shallow breathing of a narrowed mind". I really don't want to be the first passenger to move from narrowed mind to "chunky industrial-weight puke"* and I don't want to reach into Cootie Central.
There goes that Earth sculpture again. It is the Unisphere from the 1964 NY World's Fair. Must have read about it in my Weekly Reader that year!
It's time to visualize Ryan and Ramius steering the Red October submarine up the Penobscot River in Maine and reminiscing about fishing. Breathe in/breathe out. Focus on Sean Connery as Admiral Ramius. Always a good visualization...Breathe in/breathe out.
The pilot lands our AirTran. We burst into simultaneous applause. Life is good. I'm glad to be done with the bonus air sightseeing tour of NYC. My stomach is one chunk away from industrial-weight!
*Radioman [shouting amiably over the engines] So you don't like flyin', huh? This is nothin'! You shoulda been with us five, six months ago! Whoa, talk about puke! We ran into a hailstorm over the Sea of Japan! Everyone was retchin' his guts out! The pilot shot his lunch all over the windshield, and I barfed on the radio - knocked it out completely! It wasn't that lightweight stuff, either; it was that chunky, industrial-weight puke! [proferring a candy bar] Here, ya wanna bite?
Jack Ryan: [through clenched teeth] Next time you get a bright idea, Jack, put it in a memo!
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder