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The Old Lady in My Bones

The Old Lady on the Airplane

The engine roared beneath the floor. I woke from a broken sleep, my head against the window, my hair plastered to the side of my face. I sat up and cringed at the twinge in my neck. I checked the time – ninety minutes left on a three-hour flight. I stretched out my legs only to find them stiff and unyielding; my tight muscles recoiled against the stretch. I looked towards the aisle, contemplating a short walk to loosen the grip of the old lady. I glanced at my partner relaxing in the middle seat. I tipped my head to look at the man in the aisle seat – he was fast asleep. I wasn’t sure how I could extricate myself from my corner without disturbing the sleeping man. In my mind, I devised several fancy ways to sneak by him, graceful and crafty, in the style of James Bond; I smiled at the lithe body I envisioned creeping out to the aisle, unnoticed…that image was quickly destroyed by the reality of what would actually occur – a Three Stooges kind of exit, likely resulting in me tripping over his feet and sprawling in the aisle. While I contemplated this, I looked for any sign of the stewards starting their beverage service, hoping to use it as my escape; surely, the snoring man in the aisle would wake for coffee and a snack.

I sat back and stared out the window at blue sky and white fluffy clouds – there was nothing to distract my attention from my discomfort. I shrunk down in my seat and raised my arms trying to relieve my stiff back. I attempted to stand, only to be bumped back by the tilted seatback in front of me. I pulled an airline magazine from the seat pocket and flipped through the pages, looking for any enticing article to take my mind off my stiff body; a page advertising seated exercises caught my attention. I started with the toe lift, to stretch the calves, and moved onto lifting the knees to my chest. I kicked the seat in front of me a couple of times and cringed, hoping I had not disturbed yet another napping passenger. I stole a quick look to my left – the sleeper had his head back, his tongue lolling out like a dog while he snored…I wiggled and squirmed, thinking I wouldn’t be able to take this much longer; I needed to get up…I stood again, determined to climb over him, and then, to my joy, I heard the rattle of the beverage trolley coming up the aisle.

About J.G. Chayko

I am a writer living on the beautiful West Coast in Vancouver B.C. I am a poet at heart but also write prose, fiction and creative non-fiction. Three years ago, while working for a Rheumatology clinic, I was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis. I created " The Old Lady In My Bones" to share my experience living with this disease and to create an awareness that arthritis touches people of all ages, not just the elderly.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Old Lady on the Airplane

  1. Errgh, long flights trapped in an airliner seat! I felt your discomfort as I read, JG, as I’ve been through it, too. At least you were able to sleep for a while.

    I hope you’re feeling well. Have a great week! :)

    Posted by Wren | October 21, 2013, 8:25 am
  2. I know how those long flights go. I was dreading a two-hour flight because it’s never just two-hours when you add all that flight travel entails. I ended up doing an 11 hour drive instead. At least I could stop and stretch at my leisure! Hope you had a great time!

    Posted by Irma | October 27, 2013, 4:48 pm

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