Flight, 1:30 p.m. (Aerial View)
A Boeing 737, filled to capacity, glints in the bright summer sun. Behind the plane, two white contrails merge into one and form the only cloud in the sky—a long straight line of exhaust, like the spray of graffiti on a clean blue wall. Still ascending to 10,000 feet, the land far below resembles a patchwork quilt. One block is a rectangle of green grass and is located immediately behind the running track of a high school. Four almost-indiscernible specks run in crazy circles on a football field. A family? Friends? A dog? Climbing to new heights in the sky as well as his profession, a businessman with overpriced alcohol on his breath steams the window with a wistful sigh—another disappearing scene from his life.
Journal entry, 10:45 p.m. (Ground View)
It was a blistering hot day but my girls and their miniature dachshund wanted to play. No pool. No yard. So I pulled them in a little red wagon from our cramped, stuffy apartment to the wide open spaces of Eastside High School. Hidden under the ground and on a timer, sprinklers would suddenly burst forth and blast cold geysers of water into the air; they would rotate with a cicada-sound—tt-tt-tt-tt—and hydrate the empty practice field all summer long. Two teeny bikinis and one smelly weeny ran in crazy circles through refreshing fountains and misty rainbows. I couldn’t help but join the joyful frenzy. My four-year-old daughter wore heart-shaped sunglasses and told me to look up, so I did. There wasn’t a cloud in sight. The ultra-radiant sun squinted my eyes to tearful slits. Out of breath and soaking wet, I noticed a passenger jet reduced to the size of a toy, a single flickering flame, a shooting day star with a long, white tail. “Look papa, that plane is scratching the sky.” I smiled at her innocent, unintentional eloquence, extremely grateful I had missed my flight.