The Airplane

3:00 pm – EST – Sunday

Lysol wipes have touched everything I’ve touched before I touched it. The entire row is to myself on this flight. I’m relieved, happy, and wish this flight could have been shorter. I hear light coughing all around me. My mask is still coated in pollen from the trip. 

It makes my head spin. 

6:55 pm – EST 

Customs is completely digital now, at least in Atlanta. Wait times are arduously fast. It’s almost absurd. Everyone’s had to touch LED screens to scan their passport and enter. There’s not time to wipe anything down. Someone coughs and then lazily puts their finger on the screen.

I really hope I don’t get that terminal. 

7:00 pm – EST

I’m already through customs and they’ve delayed my flight anyway. Thanks? At least there’s time to eat. I slowly slip back into my habits of ordering food and eating it 5 inches away from a stranger’s bag in the seat next to me. Is this considered social distancing? Were they wearing gloves when they prepared it? Is this how I die? Eating a hummus wrap and almonds in an Atlanta airport? 

There are 124 seats open on this flight.

No wants to go to San Francisco right now. 

The row is empty in front of us. Score. 

The flight attendant seats the family with the baby there. 

Of course. 

This is how I die. 

Photo by Sourav Mishra