Complete wakefulness. A dark reverie descends upon me in the newfound silence. Moments before, chaos lay across the plane. But now the squalling Beast in seat 28E lies silent, surely taking only a respite before his guttural wails resume to peel the last layers of sanity from my mind.
It is 2:58am, and I cannot sleep. I am on the Red Eye from Hell.
The Beast cries out in the darkness, his evil moans destroying the slumber of countless innocents. I wish to kill him, to squeeze his throat with all my might until blood runs from his ears and his eyes burst from their sockets. I want to silence his miserable voice forever. Society prevents me, not the first time or the last that the arbitrary morals of man have checked my homicidal rage. Things will be different when I am emperor, but for now I seethe.
The Fat Man snores again. What does he dream of, I wonder? Of winning the lottery, of cakes and candy bars and a world without hunger? His incessant drone provides no answers. Of all those here he seems most impervious to the Beast’s powers. Though its cries do seem to interrupt the Fat Man’s nasal symphony for a time, the music soon resumes when the Beast pauses to catch its breath.
An old Japanese woman ambulates weirdly down the aisle. She stares at me with hollow eyes, perhaps baffled by the solitary light above my head. Back down the aisle and up again she wanders, a ghost looking for a tomb.
Somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico lightning slashes between cloudbanks and illuminates the bare metal wing of the plane. A perfect quarter moon hangs in the black air, Mars a jewel in the halo of its crown. I am tired and my hand grows heavy. Yet the squealling maw of the Beast opens forth and issues another warning, promising me that any sleep I might steal would be troubled and brief. Still, I must close my eyes and try to rest before dawn fills the cabin and our red eye emerges from the gates of hell.
Some brat screamed his goddamn fucking lungs out for seven hours straight on an overnight flight, a scant ten feet from my ears. He kept me from getting a single moment’s rest. I wanted to fucking murder him. It’s been a couple days since the flight, and I still want to fucking murder him. With a rusty chainsaw.
Parents, the next time you contemplate bringing your small child on an overnight plane, please do the following for me:
Consider travelling by covered wagon or ocean liner instead.
Force your child through the infant equivalent of the Bataan Death March eight hours prior to your arrival at the airport. If your child attepts to sleep, use an electric cattle prod to shock her back into consciousness. Only allow child to pass out in exhaustion once she is on board. But not before then.
Air pressure changes can cause pain in a child’s ears. To ensure this doesn’t happen, cut off your child’s ears before the flight begins.
Always travel with a small bottle of sedatives with which to tranquilize your child should something upset her. If you’re opposed to using heavy duty sedatives on your baby, how about at least giving some to the rest of us who have to listen to her?
Become a better parent. If you were a better parent, your progeny wouldn’t be crying so loudly. Try getting advice from the self help section and Barnes and Noble, or maybe one of your own parents.
This was the first time I’ve ever been on a plane where the crew didn’t speak cheery goodbyes to passengers as they disembarked.