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13 Feb 2012

Chapter 5: Fast and Furious

The scenery outside has changed now. The floaty, wonderland look has disappeared. I don't see any clouds around me any more. Oh, there they are! We have flown way above the clouds now. Down below me, the clouds form a desert-like appearance. It looks like an expanse of white sand with bluish-grey (or greyish blue) shadows of the little dunes everywhere. It is picturesque in a way that only deserts can be. The sky is a clear blue. It is a dark shade of blue. It looks hot. It is the sun that I can see from the periphery of my window and the flash of blinding white in the horizon that must be giving it that appearance. The air around me looks pretty hot too. The kind of air that one might find in the desert. Is it really hot out there? Isn't it supposed to be cooler as we go higher? I am a little confused by all the science and literature mixing in my head now.

I have always thought sky blue was a pastel colour. I am not sure why I thought that. I guess I just liked that colour better than the other shades when I looked up in the sky. As a kid, I used to want a dress of the pale blue shade of the sky, with white lace. I don't think I ever got one because I wanted the perfect shade or not at all. Even I was never sure what the perfect shade was. I was a strange kid alright. I even used to create my own words and attach meanings to them. I have always visualized words in pictures and colours. Sky blue was a pastel blue with pale edges. It almost sounds like Autism, doesn't it? I am not smart enough, so that can be ruled out.

Ellie, beside me, is scribbling away non-stop. It might appear that I am just looking out the window and thinking strange things but that is not true. I am writing real fast too. I am trying hard to keep up with the speed of my thoughts. She looks as if she has an epic novel in her head and wants to pen it down before she forgets something. I can see her referring to her big book every now and then. If I had not seen earlier that it was a book on Architecture, I would swear that it is a dictionary or a map. She is not quite reading long before she gets back to her writing. A quick peek and she is back to her script. The way she is making those elaborate notes, I am leaning towards project work. She is clearly not writing off the big book. Her body language is screaming to me that the words are dropping off her head on to paper. 

With one seat between us, there is not much I can see. I am looking at her through my peripheral vision, too, as I write. That is not helping either. It is the only way I can do this, though. If I stopped to turn and look, I would not only draw her attention but my thoughts would run away before I can put them down. It is hard enough catching up with the writing as I think. It would be near impossible to think, then form the sentences again on to paper. I already feel as if I am missing a few sentences here and there. 

I wonder if she has noticed that I am writing too. If she has, does she have similar questions running through her head as I do? She seems to be concentrating on her work but girls have a way of noticing things, without letting on. I am fairly confident that she is aware that I am writing. It is not clear to me how aware she is. Has she realized that I only started writing a little after she started? Probably not. She might just brush it off as me settling in, before I started to write. Not everyone walks in with a paper and pen in hand and gets down to scribing as soon as their bum hits the seat. Let me see. She knows that I am writing. She does not know that I am writing because of her. She surely does not realize that I am writing about her. 

Now, that would be funny. Imagine if she found that out. She might want to rip my sheets. If she is sufficiently freaked out, she might make some noise and get one of the crew to throw me out. Out of the seat, I mean, not the plane. That would be ridiculous! They would not kill someone for writing that the girl sitting next to me is writing about something. She does not seem to care anyway. I have nothing to worry about, for the moment at least. This is just me playing out weird scenes in my head. I don't think I have anything to worry about at all.

The air-hostesses are wheeling the food and drinks trolley down the aisle now. I used to travel in flights where they serve that stuff for free but, with the cheap flights these days, I have to buy food. Sometimes I do but today I am determined not to. I have eaten at the airport and I have a bottle of Coke Zero with me. 

"Mmmm, the coffee smells great!" 

I had better take a sip of my coke and get some caffeine into my body. The ladies are just one seat away from me now. I'm beginning to feel a little bit of stress. I have not decided whether I will polite refuse to buy anything or ignore them and pretend to be concentrating on my work. I am not good at acting and I really cannot ignore people. What am I going to do?

"No, thank you", I smiled at her. Not much thinking involved there. I did what I would do, inevitably. 

Elle is not buying anything either. She has a bottle of water she has been sipping from. Apparently, she has better dietary habits than I. I bet she did not buy chicken from Red Rooster at the airport either. 

All this movement inside the plane has increased the contents flying through my head. I am writing furiously now. My fingers are beginning to feel the pressure. More and more sentences are flying past, that I can't seem to pick up. It does not appear to be affecting my narrative, so I will let it be. There is no sense in going back to collect those thoughts now. I need fresh paper, quick. There it is!

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