“My bags are packed, I’m ready to go, I’m standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say good-bye.
But the dawn is breaking, it’s early morn, the taxi’s waiting He’s blowing his horn.
Already I’m so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you’ll wait for me, hold me like you’ll never let me go.
‘Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go.” – John Denver, “Leaving on a jet plane”
The cooped up dry air of airliners has the same affect on me as a glass of whiskey, a fire place, and a blizzard outside. I fall asleep without even meaning to. Not deep sleep, just the kind where thoughts flit in and out, and reality becomes strained while emotions grow more intense.
I had my head on my hand, and my elbow propped up on the aisle armrest. The words if the song brought up all kinds of memories of foreign times.
The first time I heard that sorrowful tune we were sitting on a ragged brown carpet floor at strangers house late one night listening to sad songs. We all had pre journey butterflies for the next morning’s flight. It might have been the stranger’s food, or just the excitement of being someplace new and going someplace new, but I couldn’t sleep so we sat up cross legged on the floor and listened to old songs. Mom teared up a little, and we all laughed at how sentimental she was.
All that sped through my mind on repeat as the song played on, till my arm fell from the armrest and I was jerked into wakefulness and my phone fell to the floor yanking my headphones with them.
Across the aisle a brown haired women in a large black sweater with her hair in a pony tail reached down and picked up my phone. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and then smiled. My screen was lit up with the album artwork of John Denver. The woman held up her own phone where the same Album cover showed. She gave me another faint smile as she handed the phone back. Her eyes looked sad, and she didn’t try to hide the tears that hung in droplets under them. I took the phone and smiled back, but I knew my eyes held the same kind of reminiscent sadness.