I was for the first time on my way to Africa. From the airplane, at one point, it seemed like I saw Gibraltar, but now that I think about it, it seems a bit unlikely. They offer newspapers, but I refuse. I don’t feel like reading that nonsense. I’m absorbed in your novel, and it’s more than enough for me. I want to forget about everything else. With a little trick, I manage to secure a seat by the window all to myself. Next to me, there’s a Turkish man who’s come from London, calm as can be, and I’m calm too. On the way back, I know I’ll have to deal with Alison, the Black Hunchback, but on the return journey, it will be different. Right now, everything is new. I fly over Sicily and Malta, and soon I’ll see the coasts of Africa. It’s all new, new to my eyes, and it has to be all mine and mine alone.
I like to record what I hear and think because then I’ll rewrite everything for you. The only thing that comes to mind is Carla and her writing course and the nonsense she made us write. Automatic writing helps to open up and it’s a great exercise. For idiots, that is. I already know that soon I’ll become banal and clingy, so I’ll stop taking notes, and what follows is just what I remember, the yellow pages are blank… but the truth is, I couldn’t hold the pen any longer.
The plane starts a nice cha-cha-cha dance. Sicily is no longer visible as we enter a mega turbulence, and clouds appear, and after a few minutes, the plane seems enveloped in cotton candy.
I wait for the blue to return, but it won’t come, and I remember that I used to be claustrophobic, damn it, I had it all at one point. For a while, I like thinking about this cotton candy thing, but then I start sweating, thinking about all the nonsense people say to those who are afraid of flying. It’s a different story when you’re on it, it really is. The turbulence increases, and so does the anxiety, discreet at first, then indecent, and my hands start to drip. Either I close your manuscript, or I soak it all, and then the paper will ripple and bother me. My glances at the flight attendants become more frequent and insistent. If I look at them and see them calm and busy, the fear subsides. But those bitches are nowhere to be seen.”
In solis sis tibi turba locis
I continue with the hypothesis of the Kurdish terrorist and quickly go over the types of people who boarded with us and were on the bus, trying to figure out who could be the wretched hijacker. The plane continues its wild dance, I see Alison appearing and disappearing from the seat back, drawing and looking at me questioningly, and I feel like a wicked mother. Nathalie was right, God, she was right, and my mother too when she says, “Why don’t you stay at your own house and tidy up the rooms or choose a sink and bathtub? It’s been six months since you’ve been washing up at my place, and I can’t stand mopping the floor of my bathroom anymore.” Then it’s my father’s turn, I see his bored face and think, “What the hell did Tunisia have to do with it? Why didn’t you go to San Marino or see the miniature Italy instead?”
They were all right, and now it’s time for my symbolic funeral, and I see their faces swaying, murmuring, “I told her so!” The jolts intensify, and the plane descends a few meters, with my stomach wanting to follow suit. Thank goodness I didn’t eat, but why should it be my plane that crashes? I ask myself that question on every flight. Even this fear is part of the obsession of being unique. On every flight, I repeat the question to myself, “Why me?” But then I answer myself as well, “Why not?” Then the hypothesis of a plane malfunction arises, and I already hear suspicious whispers. After that, it’s the turn of the drunk pilot because he’s fed up with life, and finally, the unexpected, the unforeseeable. Thank goodness all these bullshit conjectures pass the time, even though it’s easy to say now. Up there, it felt like an eternity.
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