Shallow and Meaningless

Part 1 – Untitled

On my way to the airport my mother mentions that a Nigerian man will be coming to live with her. His brother, who is named after a day in the week, is constantly texting her.

“No one has ever said such nice things to me” she says, showing me one of his text messages.

The Nigerian is coming to go to college. “It feels nice to be able to change someone’s life” she says. I wonder why it can’t be her life, or my life, or my autistic brother’s life. She’s given up on us, I suppose.

It is a beautiful July Sunday in Southwest Michigan. The sun beats brilliant down upon the I-94 where the animals know to stay the fuck away.

We arrive at Gerald R. Ford Memorial Airport. An interstate hub. I’m going to visit my Grandmother.

I’m flying with with an airline named Allegiant which I am certain is being run by a couple of computers in a call center basement somewhere in India.

As I arrive to my gate I survey the other passengers. I think of the movie Final Destination but decide to fly anyway. I imagine us all getting sucked out of the pressurized cabin into the air. I think they are all looking around thinking the same thing.

Maybe I’m projecting.

They have the passengers split up into sections. I’m in group three, there is no group one or two, some of group four has window seats but they’re seated last.

I am sat next to an attractive young woman. Potentially younger than 18, although, in my 20s, it is hard now for me to call. She has deep dark red hair and is dressed in a black, laced dress. There’s a seat open still and I say “maybe we’ll get an extra seat, that would be nice.”

She says “yeah.”

A young family of four are to sit near us, a mother and three girls. One of the girls fills the window seat. She looks just like my ex-girlfriend’s younger sister, but thinner. Has the same name: Julie. She wears glasses. She, too, is probably under 18, though I still cannot tell.

Their skin is like porcelain. To my right is the smell of fruit, to my left is the smell of lavendar. I sneak glances at them on occasion, but I never say a word. I imagine fucking them both, and how disappointed we would all be about it; myself, each of them, those I love, damn near everybody. I decide it’s best to not say a word for almost the whole trip.

“The landing is the worst part” I finally say, as we begin to descend.

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