A Wing and a Prayer
Originally to be called Angel Wings when I wrote it yesterday, following a thunderstorm after work, just as I got on the motorbike…nice.. However at 4.30am this morning that title seemed like an old UK advert for a sanitary towel (Sorry Ladies…).
This has to be the quietest flight I’ve ever been on. Even the kids have stopped squabbling. Thank Heavens for small mercies.
The television screens are showing the ocean beneath, from the cockpit camera. It’s very blue out there in the tropical sunshine. Every now and again a ship, possible a huge oil tanker or bulk carrier will pass by, appearing tiny from this distance. Have you ever looked, I mean really looked, at the ocean from a plane? The way the sun creates 10,000 mirrors on the surface and how you can see the wave ridges, even from this height.
I’m stuck between members of the Ipod generation. The skateboard guy to my left has Green Day blaring into his ears, he must be going deaf. The girl on my other side has some awful rap stuff. I don’t know what’s worse. I’ll just go back to looking at the screen. The book on my lap, The Outsider by Albert Camus, lies upside down and open. I know it’ll ruin like that but I’m otherwise occupied.
My wife’s in the row behind with the kids. Every now and again her hand reaches over and caresses my shoulder or my neck. I reach over and put my hand on hers, giving it 3 squeezes. It means ‘I Love You’. We’ve always done it. I’d like to change places with one of my children but they want to stay close to Mum. I can’t blame them.
An hour ago the pilot took us up to over 40,000 feet to avoid a storm. 40,000 feet! That’s like sticking the Eiger on top of Everest. We’re out of the thunderstorm as well, so I guess that’s another small mercy.
This has to be the quietest flight I’ve ever been on. We were just under a hundred miles from Miami when the storm knocked out our engines. The guidelines tell us our plane can glide that far. I continue looking at the screen. I hope they’re right.