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Tag Archives: flight

found poem: to fly

found poem: feathers

found poem: the bird

found poem: writing

found poem: the birds

found poem: Follow

found poem: choosing

found poem: Listen

found poem: the grueling


a pair…

flight change…

train caseIn the window seat, a young woman, perhaps 20, was studying the photos in a copy of Elle. She didn’t look up as I stowed my bag, got settled and buckled my seat belt. Her glossy brown hair had been deftly cut in a short do that feathered her cheeks and forehead and left her neck exposed. Her skin was flawless.

When the plane’s door had been shut and it became clear that the seat between us would be empty, she turned and smiled at me, a little shyly. She was pretty, with large brown eyes and that peachy skin. She looked like someone you’d want to have as a friend, someone you could tell secrets to.

Almost as soon as the plane was off the ground, she stashed her magazine in the seat-back pocket and pulled a case from beneath the seat in front of her. Lowering the tray table, she set the case on it and snapped open the locks. The lid held a large mirror and set in the case was a divided black tray crammed with makeup: tubes and wands and brushes and powders and pencils, an eyelash curler and perhaps a dozen small plastic boxes with clear lids that revealed compressed pats of tint for cheeks and eyes and lips. A quart-size plastic zip bag tossed on top of the tray held various small bottles of foundation, moisturizer and who-knows-what-else.

She pulled her hair away from her face with a pink terrycloth headband and for the next hour, ignoring every distraction, this young woman applied the contents of the case to her face. With layer upon layer of makeup, from hairline to collarbone, her perfect skin and brows and lids and lashes and lips were concealed and reworked. As I tried not to stare, boxes snicked open and shut, tools clicked back into the tray and the soft fragrances of cosmetics wafted from her hands.

When the flight attendant instructed that tray tables be returned to their upright and locked position, but not a moment before, my seatmate was finished: her hair shaken from the headband, the case snapped shut and restowed, the magazine pulled back into her lap.

We landed in L.A., taxied interminably and finally stopped at the gate. Then she turned and looked at me again, not smiling this time. She was unrecognizable. Dramatic, but no longer pretty. No longer the friend I’d imagined. Only her shiny, ruffled hair recalled the fresh-faced girl who had boarded the plane 90 minutes earlier.
train case photo

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