When You Find Yourself Sobbing On a Plane


There's nothing like crying on a plane with a plastic glass of red wine clutched in your hand to make you question your life. 

Let me first explain that this display of raw emotion was by no means unwarranted. The fault can decidedly lie with my consumption of the truly brilliant film, Me and Earl and a Dying Girl.

Nevertheless, this experience did give me a particular clarity about the experience of being on planes and the weird normality it has become.

I mean, flight travel has got to be one of the strangest things a human can do. And yet, it is something one craves constantly - or, at the very least is the assumed obligatory journey one must undertake to reach the craved experience from the much-admired "wanderlust."

1. People voluntarily and pay good money to sit for hours on end, and (for most Aussies) for more than one day. Moreover, it is to stay sedentary on this titanium (or whatever it is) machine that defies many fundamental scientific ideas taught in elementary school.

2. Throughout this prolonged journey, we consent to being contained into a single, small chair that would otherwise be seen as torture. And each person in their self-contained seat still has to live as they usually would with their own eating habits, watching habits, weird sleeping habits and toilet habits for all to blatantly see.

3. Yet somehow, your seat becomes your domain by which I set myself up with the right amount of reclination or my level of shoe coverage (which for me, would be minimal). While your seating arrangements become so easily customisable and treated as a small little palace for your flight needs, it is also one of the most crowded situations in which one would gladly spend for eight hours or more.

4. Beside all this self-acclamation of your own domain, you are also treated as a child. Anything you need must be given from a flight attendant. You line up for the bathroom when you need it. Your food and sleeping time is dictated by the schedule of the flight attendants or the time they turn off the lights.

Nothing of this really makes sense - particularly that we gladly subject ourselves to it with gladness and excitement and anticipation for the next time it happens again.

But then there's the matter of when emotion takes over.

There's nothing quite like succumbing to the strangeness of a plane and letting emotions wash through you like you'd never allow in any other public arena.

Maybe it's the air pressure; maybe it's the combination of excitement, a little skepticism of aeronautical engineering or just a little too much alcohol (hey it's supposed to help you sleep).