Cheeks trembled, eyelids twitched, their focus fixed straight ahead. We suggest that you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we may experience turbulence.
As the plane taxied between the airport and open airline hangers across the tarmac, strobes of amber rays with brilliant white light bleached the sapphire globe on an in-flight magazine. Lighting will guide you towards the exit. Each door is equipped with an inflatable slide… Spastic fingers slammed the visor down. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Eyelids snapped shut, spectacles slipped over nostrils, mouth breathing fogged the glass. To inflate the vest… A spear of mint pierced the puncture of puckered lips, bittersweet rocks of saliva swallowed.
At this time, set your electronic devices to ‘airplane’ mode until arrival. Mist filled a sweltering brow. Swirling drops spilled over hand onto the iPhone and perished on impact. Thank you for choosing Paragon Airlines. Sit back and enjoy the flight. Flailing arms clamped floating armrests. The Airbus turned towards the runway and turmoil rolled to a temporary stop. A forward moving flight attendant restrained the restraint of a total stranger, cleared for takeoff.
Cheeks trembled, eyelids twitched, their focus fixed straight ahead. Strobes of platinum rays and brilliant white light reflected off a silver and sapphire plane as it taxied between the airport and the open airline hangers across the tarmac.
Firm fingers held a phone as another started the recording. Eyelids stretched wide, spectacles slipped over nostrils, excited breath fogged the glass. A jet of air was adjusted overhead. Swirling puffs blew onto the iPhone and cooled it on impact. An eager arm grabbed a floating armrest. The Airbus had turned towards the runway.
Power pushed the throttle to create the thrust needed for takeoff from a shortened runway. Anticipation rolled, the engine hummed and a seasoned flyer captured an exhilarating departure.
Kids are capricious. This tin can shook like a hooked fish, bile about to pour from my nose! Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign… She sleeps through the whole thing, ridiculous.
Now she’s crying and carrying on cause momma put her baggage in the bin, really? ‘My baby blossom needs a bottle to be relieved‘, stupid. You’re just talking to yourself, kids can’t understand. The flight crew will be passing around beverages and a snack. Alcoholic items are also available… I need a drink.
Probably some kid and his plastic Power Ranger pacifier made all those scratches on the glass. Parents are so passive. I hope this bucket of bolts holds together or some kid will have killed us all! – No, we’re fine. Keep calm, focus. – Where’s that lady at?
“Rum and Coke, yes mam. – Oh, the cash is in that bag on the car seat, top pocket, yes there. Sorry, kids you know. – Thanks.”
One hundred and one stories above Central Park, a cavernous and poshly decorated floor was awakened by the dawn’s first light. Quiet rings of Rattle and Hum from half-donned headphones drowned in the squeal of a sloshing mop bucket. The maintenance door closed and an elevator opened. Issac Chavez, a portly, bespectacled and balding man shuffled out, tucking the morning paper under his arm, in a normal fashion.
Issac glanced at the wall of flat screen monitors. Large etched-glass doors closed behind him. Dozens of transient images interchanged like a split-flap display in an overbooked airport. Just an ordinary day and business as usual. Then, Issac saw something different. He sat a blue BOSS sportcoat over a rumpled Briggs & Riley backpack and dove in for a closer look.
Eyes opened wide, their focus fixed straight ahead. “Who you gonna meddle with this time?” He pulled fogged glasses from his face and swung an iPhone from off his hip. “Hey Siri, shoot a text to Martin Abrams.” ready, “we need the closed loop controlled,” is that all? – “send.”
Golden sunlight brushed just above the placid pewter waters, blue steel beams stroked with pink on the purple canvas sky. Morning traffic flowed smoothly over the JFK on the other side of the East River. As usual, daylight’s earliest congestion came to the FDR and Martin Abrams was stuck somewhere in the middle, his thoughts wandered over Mill Rock.
“I cringe just to think of it! – Waiting twenty years, and now forty years later you’ve got to wait for twenty more just to go again. – How could a person commit themselves to such a trompe l’oeil? – Monsieur Abrams?”
Wrinkled gray eyes followed the local garbage barge as it floated slowly up the Harlem River. Gentle waves of silver hair framed his weathered brow, and a pencil-thin white mustache stretched out above a stiff upper lip. He smiled and closed the window.
“Monsieur Abrams? Did you fall asleep?”
“You did fall…?”
“Yes. It is an illusion, Chauncey. You are correct. However, commitment is how we make it work.” Abrams turned towards the front of the car, meeting his driver’s eyes in the mirror. “I will not be returning. – No, not this time. – It is a young man’s game and I have grown much too old to play.”
A tiny white plane was flying through the air when all of a sudden a huge giant came and grabbed it from the sky!
“Mom, the wheel on my plane is missing.” Did she see?
“It scratches the window.” Maybe not.
“What’s this little red triangle for? – Is ‘Delta‘ the name of the airplane?”
Good afternoon passengers. This is your captain speaking. The weather looks good…
I’m gonna jump in the pool as soon as I get to grandmas! “Mom, can we go swimming at Moma’s house?”
I hope she still has those floaties. “The captain said ‘the weather looks good’, so can we, huh. – Mom, can we?”
…we are expecting to land fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.
“We’re landing in fifteen minutes?” We just took off… “Boy, this plan is fast!”
Skies are clear and sunny, with a high of 88 degrees for this afternoon. If the clouds continue to cooperate we should get a great view of the city as we descend…
“Mom, what does ‘descend’ mean?” I want a magnet from the gift shop.
“Is it like sending an email, but with people?” Maybe she won’t see the scratches.
I need a bigger magnet. “Mom, this one doesn’t work. – It won’t stick.”
From his office on the one-hundredth floor, Isaac Chavez gazed across the East River. Ants of city dwellers swarmed Central Park fifteen-hundred feet below.
Large etched-glass doors opened. “I’m glad you’ve accepted our offer,” he said turning to face his guests. A grayed out image on giant flat screen displays filled the wall behind him.
“I must apologize, Monsieur Chavez.” A dark-haired and lanky young man stumbled through the doorway. “If not for the embouteillage, how do you say, ‘traffic’, I would have had Monsieur Abrams here sooner.”
“This is fine Chauncey,” Martin Abrams said. “Isaac is used to waiting.”
“Yes, I am. Please, sit down.”
“Merci. – Uh, thank you.”
Isaac watched the metro fashioned young man bumble among the Herman Miller furniture. “You know, when we were younger, well, when I was younger, I think Marty’s been old his whole life, we had a lot of time on our hands. Remember, Marty?”
“Marty and I used to talk about altering the entertainment industry. Not to bury them financially, just make their productions more to our liking.”
“You were capricious then, and you are capricious now.”
Isaac smiled. “We’d rid the world of bad caper films, like the ‘Italian Job’ and ‘Oceans Eleven’. Marty liked the originals much better than the remakes. He also preferred John Wayne’s ‘True Grit‘ versus Jeff Bridges’. Isn’t that right?” Abrams nodded. “I thought he was being old school, I mean Wayne made a horrible sequel. But Marty was right, Jeff’s Rooster didn’t have the same swag.
“And what atrocity was it you would do away with?” interrupted Abrams. “Ah yes, prevent ‘the odious sequel’ ever from occurring. – As I remember, you would convince Fred Savage never to direct ‘Daddy Day Camp’.
“I like Fred, he’s a good friend of mine. Plus, I wouldn’t have had to wait so long to change his mind. Not back then.
“Excusez-moi, Monsieur. I don’t understand.”
“Never mind. – Now the one thing Marty and I couldn’t agree on was whether or not Jangle pop should stay or go. I like the Beatles and R.E.M. but Marty thought the world would be a better place without their high-pitched guitars.”
Abrams snickered. “The problem was too many people were involved.”
Isaac laughed. “We couldn’t pinpoint its inception.”
“I don’t understand, Messieurs. How could one do such a thing?”
Their expressions grew serious. Chauncey shifted in his chair as the lull in conversation lingered.
“If we change our mind…” Isaac began.
Abrams continued. “…we change our future.”