Monday, February 2, 2009

planes do eventually touch down, thank God

    I am now comfortably in Florida. I am exhausted, true, but here. However, it was not without it's difficulties, in terms of actually getting here.  

   Today is a stormy day in Tampa, so the last 20 minutes of the flight took its toll on me. The turbulence was not the worst I had experienced, so I didn't anticipate any problems, really.

   Famous last words.

   To use one of my mom's favorite idioms, I became sick as a dog. Horribly, shivery, sweatily sick. I had been cold during the flight but all of the sudden I had to rip off my sweatshirt as if it was lined in fire, I became that hot. And that wasn't even close to good enough. I had to roll up the already short sleeves of my t-shirt and pull up my jeans as high as they would go on my legs. Luckily I was not wearing my skinny jeans. It was only the ever-present awareness of modesty instilled in me by my God-fearing parents that kept me with clothes on at all.

   The veins in my arms were popping out. This may have made sense if I had just been lifting weights heavily for the past hour. I hadn't. I had just been sleeping for the past hour. I turned on the tiny fan above my head, trying to get as close to it as possible. The relief that brought was actually quite invaluable; the way I responded to it, you would have thought it was the whirr of angel's wings above me. 

  It was then that I started doing some deep breathing, not unlike what I have imagined a pregnant woman does in the throes of labor. In and out, in and out, nice and slow as I sucked the air back and forth through my mouth like a straw. 

  Maybe it was my Darth Vador sounds that made my seat neighbor take pity on me. Not understanding exactly what was going on, he simply assumed I was terrified that the plane would go down in the storm.

  He patted my arm clumsily as he said in a heavily accented voice, Eet weel be okay. You see.

   I smiled and nodded and tried not to throw up on him. He continued by pointing out the window, motioning to the fog and rain, and telling me, Thees--thees ees normal... 
   He gave me a fatherly smile. I thought to myself, Yes, but I am not normal right now... 

   My friend who was sitting right in front of me happened to look back around then. Noticing my pasty face, he asked if I was okay. I simply shook my head and he reached back and held my hand, telling me that I would be fine.  Nice guy.

   That plane could not land fast enough for my taste.  It's amazing how solid ground beneath you can restore a body. My veins went back to normal. The shivery sweatiness receded and I could actually wear my sweatshirt once again without feeling like I was being boiled alive.  I could feel some color even creeping back into my complexion.  

  I got myself together and stepped off the plane into the rich, moisture filled air of Florida. Ah. I hope I see an alligator, but not too closely if you know what I mean. I might go to Disney World. I will be seeing my brother, Josh, who amazingly enough has a conference in Orlando on my day off in Orlando next week.  

  Good times.  

  Not necessarily on the plane, per se, but good times immediately followed.  


kathiek said...

Jess, you poor thing! Do you think you had a panic attack? I am glad you made it safely!

Okay, now that I have said that (and I really meant it), would it be horrible of me to say that, while I am sure it wasn't funny at the time, how you have described it is hysterical?!

**"It was only the ever-present awareness of modesty instilled in me by my God-fearing parents that kept me with clothes on at all."

**"I smiled and nodded and tried not to throw up on him."

If it was horrible of me to say it, then please forgive me, but honestly, Jess, it sounds like something you would see on TV...I was literally expecting to read that you had kissed the ground when you got off the plane!

silk said...

I am not a fan of planes, only I appreciate being able to visit my family on the west coast with a five hour flight rather than a week long car ride. I also get unbearable hot flashes when I am extremely stressed out as well as experience the near vomit aspect. Have not yet combined that with a plane ride, but I sure wouldn't enjoy it. Hopefully Florida will seem like such a wonderland after the Dearborn winter that your flight will seem a distant memory. Eet weel be foon.

peaj said...

Hey, I'm sorry that you felt ill. I imagine that must have been very distressing. It sounds painful, with popping veins and all.

But I literally laughed out loud at this line:

"I smiled and nodded and tried not to throw up on him."

Tried and succeeded, I imagine. I'm sure he was appreciative.

Hello, Florida! You make me want to vomit.

Seriously, though: do you think you should take some medication along, in case this happens again?

Pop said...

Had this ever happened before, Jess? I don't remember you having this reaction to plane rides before. Had you eaten some weird peanuts or something???

You are a funny writer, with a sarcastic self-awareness as you comment on yourself. Looking forward to the book!

Love, Pop

Pop said...

Had this ever happened before, Jess? I don't remember you having this reaction to plane rides before. Had you eaten some weird peanuts or something???

You are a funny writer, with a sarcastic self-awareness as you comment on yourself. Looking forward to the book!

Love, Pop

jessica said...

To answer your questions--no, I don't think bit was a panic attack. At least, I wasn't scared at all that the plane would go down and I have no fear of heights other than a healthy, gotta-watch-my-step-on-this-cliff type of fear. I assume that it was just a motion sickness-it was quite horrible, to be honest, but doesn't worry me. I felt better as soon as I was not flying. And I am glad you guys thought the story is funny-i do, too-especially now that it's behind me! :-)

laverne said...

Sounds like maybe a touch of Vertigo. If I am not sufficiently hydrated, my whole system gets weird and hot and wacky.

Jessica Latshaw said...

never thought of that, Laverne--thanks for the suggestion--in the future I will try to make sure to hydrate myself!

christine said...

Jess, I'm so sorry you felt like that. I have felt like that as well before when there's some turbulence, even if it's not terrible. I don't know if it's been as bad as you described it or if you're just really good at painting a colorful picture of your experience : ) You've always been one to roll up your pants when you're really hot...I need to remember that for the future.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Yes, i would especially suggest not to wear skinny jeans--just in case you do need to roll up your pants on a plane!

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