The Complete and Total Loser's reason for drinking on planes is jokey: They crash sometimes, why be sober if you don't have to be? He means this, though, despite not being at all anxious when it comes to air travel.
Ever since he was a child, he loved looking at planes, especially though magnification that enables him to make out the windows. It's not the planes that intrigue him, it's what's happening inside. People sleeping, eating, talking, reading, crapping, going online, watching movies. Some may be meeting for the first time. Others may be going to see a dying loved one, or a newborn child.
This separate tiny planet roaring overhead.
The Loser wonders how can anyone complain about food on a plane. You're ten miles above the earth, it's tens of degrees below zero right outside your window, you're being bombarded by amounts of radiation that would never hit you normally, yet here you are, thinking of putting more salt on the warm chicken breast you have on a plate in front of you.
The Loser's dream job was (and is) to be the pilot of a cargo plane. He'd fly at night, when the routes are less crowded. His plane would be large and have propellers. As there'd be no passengers the crew would be small. A copilot and one other, perhaps. The copilot and the Loser would get along well. They'd share dirty jokes and as often as they'd speak there'd be silences, none of them awkward. When taking off and landing, they'd act professionally, going through their checklists, all business.
While in flight, the Loser would look down at houses dotting the vast open spaces between airports and think about the people in them, their lights still on in the early morning hours.
|The Loser took this picture of a jet he could barely hear earlier today with a telephoto lens.|