Have you ever flown from one end of North America to the other? If you’re from Alaska odds are more than 1-in-2 that you have and you probably already have a good idea of where this is going. For work this past week I was asked to go to Orlando for some training. Nice right? In most of the country it’s winter. Not here. It was 80F with 225% humidity (I may be exaggerating). Summer in December for a week, why the hell would anyone pass that up? Because it’s a hell of a long way to go for 5 days, that’s why. We all know Alaska is far from everything, shit it’s far from itself. Some twenty or thirty years ago we had 3 timezones. You can imagine that having Dillingham call Juneau (State capital) would be a bit awkward – they’d be 3 hours ahead. Of course daylight is a finny thing up north, so timezone only sort of matters and only for parts of the year. Timezones aside, what being in Alaska means is that I’m pretty well assured of a flight to Seattle before getting started – not terrible usually. It’s a 3hr flight, Seattle airport is nice and virtually everyone in Alaska goes there, so there’s a good chance you’ll actually run into someone you know. However, that’s when the trip starts. My total trek to Orlando was 10 hours – 2 flights. Not too bad right? The trip back is a little (lot?) crappier. It’ll be closer to 14 hours with 3 stops and one real tight connection. Sigh, stuck in a tiny box and the stress of possibly missing a flight through no fault of my own. Super not awesome.
Anyhow, to get on to my actual point, I think there may be one and it may be writing related, being stuck in a tiny metal box rocketing across country for 10-11 hours is boring. Except that it’s not. Perhaps you can read for 10 hour stretches, but I can’t. I get to ancy. I can go for an hour or two then I’ve got to be doing something. Sleeping in a cramped seat with little legroom isn’t usually an option either. So what’s left – writing! (See, brought it around). Anyhow, I wrote a good deal on the way down here, a bit while I was here (got stuck actually and I’m going to have to back-track most of what I wrote because it’s trudging off into a ditch).
My point? Flying sucks – but it’s possibly one of the best times to be forced to focus and write. You can’t go anywhere. Internet is either not available or prohibitively expensive and except for that little magazine in the seat pocket, there’s not much for distraciton. So, here I am, 10 minutes to drop my crap into my bag, run round the room one last time to make sure I’ve got everything and I’m off to the airport to write.