I’ll have to say that I did not find fault with the plane ride from Knoxville to Atlanta and on to Vancouver, but the added 5 or 6 hour flight from Anchorage to Seattle on the return trip, tacked on to the 7 hours on to Atlanta, and the 25 minutes to Knoxville, just about drove me over the edge!
I remember stepping to the edge twice before in my time and both of them were in
A scream on an airplane will land you in jail these days, but the thought of a roomy 8 by 10 cell began to sound wonderful to me!
All this anxiety and claustrophobia was instilled in me by my mother. Years ago, when dad worked out of town, I used to sleep with mom…why, I don’t know, especially after the second or third time she would grit her teeth and say, “Mushy (not his real name)! If you move one more time I’m going to beat the living day lights out of you!” I was just trying to get comfortable…so what if it took 6 to 10 turnovers!
To look at my 100 pound momma today, you’d never know what a mean woman she used to be to me!
The flight from
Once in a while I found a position that I thought I could live with, but that feeling didn’t last long. Soon I was again searching and fidgeting! First I put one leg out and stretched it all about, then I put my other leg out and pulled the other one back, then I pushed my right hip out and then the left hip out and shook it all about!
Finally, I lay my head forward and tried to rest my head on the headrest of the person in front of me. I actually nodded off for about 1 minute when Judy (on my left) coughed! I jumped as if the engines had backfired.
Then I became conscious of my arms…the lady on my right was touching my arm and forcing me to pull it further back against the seat back. I had to keep an eye on her too because before she dozed off she had told me about her lung problems and how she needed oxygen when she slept. So, I kept looking over to see if she was turning blue! I probably shouldn’t have cared, but even if she died she was too large to stuff down out of my way!
I had to move and move I did, only in little slow deliberate motions, so as not to elicit a “IF YOU MOVE ONE MORE TIME…” from either side of me.
Somehow, I made that leg of the trip and unfolded in the terminal in
Now, I know, it’s just a 25-minute flight from
You are supposed to check your carry-on luggage on small commuter flights…that is if you want some room. I did not want to part with my carry-on, so I tried stuffing it in the overhead…it wouldn’t fit, so I tried pushing it under the seat in front of me. It didn’t want to go there either! At this point I should have taken the bag back up front and checked it like they asked us to do…but NO! Instead I pushed and pushed and then placed my feet over the end sticking out so the flight attendant couldn’t see it.
I made it for about 10 minutes, including the 5 minute taxi time before we took off!
I shifted both feet to one side then up under the bag, but the blood was soon cut off in my toes. I repositioned them to the other side…nothing different there. I then pulled one leg up and placed my foot upon a 3-inch ledge, but soon my right leg was asleep!
I finally got one foot over under the seat in front of Judy, but it was awkward and driving me crazy.
I’m sure the discomfort was enhanced by not sleeping for over 24-hours, but to me I would have been happier in a dungeon somewhere being stretched on the rack! I needed to move and in a few more minutes, I thought to myself, everyone on this friggin’ plane is going to understand that!
Even the pilot announcing that we were descending and that we would soon be on the ground did nothing to ease my pain. Time seemed to slow down and the cabin began to get smaller and warmer! Damn, I’m going to scream, I thought if I don’t get off of this plane!
In one last desperate attempt to get some room and relief, I jerked my foot back from in front of Judy, mashing one of her toes! I was so stressed by then that I didn’t even care at the time…something had to give!
Once in the terminal, I again began the strange dancing in an attempt to re-inflate my folded extremities. Ron and I walked to the “long-term” parking area while the Dragons waited with the bags. I kept prancing like some Tennessee Walking Horse until I finally released all the anxiety that had built up over the long night.
I finally got into bed some 3 hours later, and I spread out and moved my legs freely back and forth several times from side to side, feeling the freedom. It felt so good!
Had I been a skinny man, I may have had the room a human being needs in order to be comfortable. God, it will be a long time before I get on another plane…and even then it will not be over 3 hours in duration!