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Cabin Pressure

The people I hate on this airplane are as follows:

The Guy Sitting on my Left

He's old and he's busy.  Strike one, strike two.  I'm in the aisle, trying to stuff my bag into the overhead compartment, and he forces his way past me and into his aisle seat.  He does this quite urgently, as if I were about to steal his seat.  I say something like "I'll need to get in there in a second," because I have the middle seat, and he'll just have to get up to let me in, but he doesn't.  Instead, he kind of pushes his legs to the side, forcing me to squeeze over him and the canvas briefcase he's got on the floor.

I make it to my seat, upon which are three white pillows and three blue blankets.  I feel like handing two of them back to the old guy and the guy to my right, but I just stuff them into the seat-back magazine holder.

I get of whiff of Old Man's breath, which is abysmal.  I mean, really bad, like those people who have that problem where they don't generate enough saliva and their mouths become a dry, pasty cavern. Breath that leads by a good six feet.  I turn on my air and point it directly into my face.  Meanwhile, he's busy rummaging around in his briefcase, arranging notes, opening and closing envelopes, and capping and uncapping pens, which he will proceed to do for the entire four-hour flight, his right elbow like a spear, jabbing into my ribs for the duration.

Since the old man is taking up the armrest on my left at two-second intervals, and the guy to my right is using his, I have to pull my shoulders together and keep my hands between my knees, which doesn't seem that uncomfortable until you do it for four hours straight.  The guy to my right is reading, so I'm hoping he won't feel a need to pummel my ribcage with anything sharp.  I sneak a peek at the book and it's Gerald's Game, by Stephen King.  I've read it myself.  I get out my book out and walkman.

The guy to my right starts laughing hysterically.

The Guy Sitting on my Right

Okay, I've read Gerald's Game, and I guess there might have been some funny moments in it, but nothing to laugh about for five minutes at the top of your lungs. I mean, a woman is handcuffed to a bed the entire book.  Not exactly a laugh riot.  

The guy on my right starts saying things out loud during the flight, like "Boy, this window is dirty," and "Son of a bitch," and "Oh, man!" and "HA HA HA HA HA HA."  Am I supposed to be sufficiently intrigued to ask him what's so funny or distressing him?  Should I agree, out loud, about the unclean state of the window?  What is my role, here?  Another thing he does is pull out his pocket watch to check the time.  He does this every five minutes.  I like pocket watches, and I understand that to check the time, you do have to pull them out and open them.  But he does it with his left hand, and when he opens it, he holds it at arm's length.  Since we're in coach, arm's length means directly in front of my face.  He then appraises the time thoughtfully, snaps it shut with a flourish, and turns the watch over in his hands for about ten seconds, as if suddenly realizing how startlingly sophisticated and attractive it is.  Then he puts it away for five minutes.

All this behavior seems to be for my benefit, but maybe I'm just being paranoid.

I order up some booze, as does Pocket Watch.  Later, the stewardess goes by to collect the empty bottles and napkins, and I hand mine in.  Pocket Watch is too busy checking the time to notice, and the stew moves further up the aisle.  Realizing he's missed her, he picks up his empty cup and napkin, and holds them out for her.  She has already passed by and doesn't see him, but he just holds his arm there, three inches from my face.  He doesn't call her, or wave his arm at all, just holds it there in front of my eyes.  He doesn't do what any normal person would do, namely, put his shit back on his tray and wait for her to come by again, he just holds it there.  I am about to snap his arm off at the shoulder, and use his elbow to jab the old man on my left, who by now is really pissing me off, when another stewardess comes by and takes his trash.

He continues reading his book, breaking into deafening laughter every so often.  I notice his laughter sounds just as if he were reading "HA HA HA HA HA" off a page.  It's odd to hear someone laugh like that, kind of like when you hear a dog bark, and it literally sounds like "Bark!"

The Guy Sitting Behind Me

He gets up.  Often.  To get up, he grabs the back of my seat and yanks himself from his chair.  This causes my seat to lurch backwards, which is unfortunate if I'm trying to sip my drink, read my book, or maintain the location of the vertebrae in my back.

We're preparing to land.  It's pretty choppy, a lot of turbulence, and the plane is dipping from side to side.  I feel a strange sensation, and I realize it's the feeling of not having my ribs stabbed by a sharp elbow for five full seconds.  Concerned, I turn to look at the old guy, and I notice he has taken out a pair of scissors and is cutting something out of a magazine.

I think about bringing up the fact that we're in a vehicle that is both traveling a couple hundred miles per hour and preparing to connect with a good-sized planet, but you know, right now, I can't think of a downside to those scissors winding up protruding from his skull.

The Guy Sitting in Front of Me

He didn't bother me at all during the flight.  I just hate him because I wish I'd had his seat.