As a kid I used to gaze up at the clouds and wonder what life would be like on the other side of them. Fancily, I daydreamed of lying atop them, cuddled up in their airy embrace. Above the clouds, I believed, the sun was always shining, the sky truer of a blue and sweet melodic angel whispers where abound. On top of the clouds, life was free. On top of the clouds, there were no worries. On top of the clouds, my thoughts were meant to roam.
I don’t travel much, in fact I’ve traveled all of 3 times in my adult life. Recently, during a return flight home, I found myself above the clouds. I smiled dreamily at them, remembering my craving for such an occasion as a child. Quickly I envisioned myself plopped upon one. Just as instantly as I found myself on top of the cloud, I felt myself burn through it. Misted haze screamed past my body as I quickly plummeted to the earth below.
Hating that image, I immediately turned my sights to the role in life I was currently playing a part in, above the clouds. I had been sitting next to a woman, of whom I learned not her name, but that she was the mother of a daughter attending the University of Oregon. She was also, a very proud owner of an Apple iPad. She went about her apps showing me all of the delightful things that it was capable of doing. Disinterested as I was, I feigned enthusiasm, joyously announcing “Oh my, would you look at that.”
On the other side of her, was a businessman. I reached out to him and dragged him into our conversation. He, as it turns out, is accustomed to flying. In fact, that very week he had to travel to 5 different cities. “You know, it was my goal to travel less this year,” he tells us. “Well, you clearly suck at that,” I respond. Instantly regretting having said the word “suck” to a total stranger. I hurriedly followed up with, “you can go ahead and save that for your next new years resolution” in hopes of making the imagery more wholesome and to the point. We both laughed, mine (perhaps) a little more nervous than his. The lady between us went to reading on her iPad. Feeling it would be rude to try and carry on a conversation with the businessman, I gave in and picked up my book as well.
Glancing out the window, I found myself looking through the clouds. Envisioning the faces of my family, their warm embraces and sloppy kisses. How we would cuddle beneath a blanket of stars and dream openly on the trampoline. I chuckled at the thought of “the sky is always bluer on the other side.” Intriguing the woman next to me, “Is that a good book?” She asked. Smiling, I handed it to her, “it’s fantastic!” Suddenly aware that my life above the clouds, for that night at least, was meant to be spent in vague reality; up here, with my co-passengers, I only partially exist.