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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. In my thirties, 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.


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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