Good morning, Great Britain!
Seat 39K – the one beside the toilet at the very back of the plane and directly across the aisle from the gawking, randy middle-aged man with mustard on his scarf – was all mine.
The karma I'd generated in the departures lounge, by turning in a stranger's purse to the security desk, had apparently been lost in airspace. It had occurred to me at the time that I maybe shouldn't involve myself with the business of unidentified parcels in airports, but my heart was so strung out on adrenaline that adding accidental implication in a smuggling scandal seemed manageable. I carried the purse very conspicuously at arm's length, just in case.
On the plane, I hid under my coat instead of that karmic shield I’d wanted. And my scarf. And that other coat I didn’t have room for in my checked luggage. A stiff neck was all Mr. Mustard was going to get from his efforts, no matter how long the flight from Halifax to London, or how vivid or well-oiled his imagination.
I sniffed the air, because I was more concerned about a smelly washroom anyway. It seemed normal for a plane: heavy on the freezer-burn with undertones of armpit. Since the flight was only five hours long, I reasoned my misery would be capped at passing ladies knocking me lucid with their purses or, at worst, a little anticipatory flatulence from the queue.
Nothing so minor would distract me from my daydreams, I resolved. Finally Heathrow-bound and running on three months of anticipation, I was on my way to meet my frighteningly-too-exactly-what-I’ve-always-wanted-in-a-man-to-be-true English boyfriend, and I had a lot of theories about how that might go. I wanted to run though them all. The R-rated ones I replayed until I fell asleep.
Before long, a swift knock on the head with a sturdy leather handbag woke me to a pink horizon. The sun was rising over England and the wing pointed to the moon. Pre-cooked omelette wafted then flopped through the cabin, and it smelled relatively delicious.
Mr. Mustard, now fast asleep, missed all the good stuff. I snapped a picture, because I didn't want to miss a thing.