This week I took a plane ride from Las Vegas to New Jersey.
During this trip I kept pondering whether the 600 milligrams—or whatever dosage of Xanax I swallowed minutes before take-off—were kicking in. Why wasn’t I sleeping? Or was I asleep? Or was I imagining I was sleeping? What the hell was going on? What is this plane ride about?
I tried to see if the delicious drug, an anxiety assuager, was making me see the chairs in the airplane differently. Did they look more fuzzy? I looked over them as if they were below me or not the main point somehow. Was I asleep again and dreaming that I was looking over the chairs? It seemed I wanted to stare at nowhere yet was somewhere but really just nowhere.
Things were blurry, softer, less meaningful. It was all not worth caring about.
The flight attendants looked like flight attendants but somehow sort of far away as if they didn’t know who they were and were just walking up and down the aisle because that’s what they do. It was them over there and me over here.
Was I asleep? Why can’t I get to sleep?
Was the plane high in the air? How high was I?
When I got my drink, a Diet Coke, I took some sips, put it down, and then forgot it was there. Maybe waking up from what may have been sleep, my left arm knocked the cup several inches to the right.
This wasn’t my intention. It just happened. While tripping on Xanax on airplanes, I tend to knock my drinks around by accident. I do like a sweeping motion with my arm across the tray table without thinking it through beforehand.
I didn’t really know where I was other than flying around somewhere or just sitting in a chair somewhere. There were people beside me but we weren’t talking. One was reading. I stopped reading ever since I started writing sports blogs because you don’t need to be well read to write sports blogs. All that’s required is that you create a pen name such as Sammy Sportface and write about your plane rides fueled by Xanax.
So I sat there wondering what I felt like, how much my anxiety had been reduced, whether these were bogus placebo pills and therefore not quelling my well-founded anxiety about flying in an aluminum tube 60,000 miles above sea level with someone else I didn’t know in control of whether I lived or died.
Where was I? How high is high? Why was I sitting there? What is an anxiety reducer? How does it work? Was this the last plane I would ever take because I don’t like being crammed in a seat and tortured? Why so many questions to ask when all you’re doing is sitting there theoretically relaxing? Was I the only one clenching the seat in front of me when the turbulence rocked us?
Was it foggy on the plane? Sure seemed so. Things were blurry, softer, less meaningful. It was all not worth caring about.
It was like a plane full of see-through pillow cases.
Next thing I knew the plane landed.
Where was I?
Had I been sleeping the whole time? Is all of life a dream, as Descartes once suggested?
What was going on? Where had I been?
It was all as mysterious as the sky.
Which is really high.