I had it all planned. Bag packed. Eggs on bench, ready to fry. Clothes laid out. My alarm went off at 05:24. I staggered out of bed. Too early. Shower. Dress. Cook. Eat. I had plenty of time. My flight boarded at 07:25. I would leave the house at six. It takes about an hour to get to Pearson airport.
I scrolled through Facebook updates. I did the dishes. 06:08. Oh. Time to leave. I caught the train to Kipling. Airport Rocket to the airport. Shit. Which terminal?
I saw Departure signs and followed then up. Up to a giant cavern with boards listing international destinations. Am I in the wrong terminal? Dan is never going to let me forget this if I miss the flight.
I got to security at 07:25. I had to skip the queue, along with a few others, and walk briskly to the gate. I took my seat, in an almost full flight. The man next to me was overflowing into my seat, despite having both middle seats in a row of four to himself.
And so it began. A five hour Cold War between 57D and 57E. I don’t like sitting at angle; I slowly pushed my arm against his until he fidgeted. It was a game of chicken. Who would move first? Eventually he shifted toward the empty chair on his right and I sat in the middle of mine. It was a short-lived victory.
Maybe I should’ve asked him to move toward the empty chair, instead of my arm. Maybe he didn’t know you can lift up armrests between chairs. Maybe these arm rests didn’t move. I couldn’t see the one between our seats; it was engulfed under his arm. I watched The Hobbit. 57E turned away from me and worked on his laptop.
It was a long flight.