It takes less than an hour to feel in a zoo.
No, perhaps it takes even less.
“Good morning Madam, welcome on board” – She smiles.
She looks fabulous in her neat uniform.
“Good morning, Madam, in the isle on the right, please.” –He smiles.
He also looks fabulous in his neat uniform.
I nod and move along my path. Everything looks fabulous: the airplane, the chair that awaits me, the lavatory (how cool this word is). Even my all-over-the-place new neighbours are fabulous. (OK, one of them is my boyfriend, so he is fabulous by definition).
We all have this smile on our face. Like a fixed sticker with a quick glue. Some got less of a line of it, some (like me) got a lot of it. But why are we smiling so dearly? Are we smiling because we are going somewhere? Are we smiling because we are excited? Are we smiling because we are hiding our (totally-normal) anxiety before taking off? Or are we smiling because we are asked to smile and enjoy the service?
Either way, we just smile.
It is just such nice story so far, isn’t it?
If you enjoyed, take a break now and come back in an hour. Or perhaps, even less.
An hour later:
The drinks were served. Then food was served. Then drink again. Oh, and newspapers were served. And with each service the smile was less. Both on the giver and the taker, and vice versa.
Then they asked for the junk. And there was no smile anymore anywhere.
But by now, we are all busy either watching the latest movie release on the screen or clicking something our iPads. Or busy with our working (since we discover that there is WIFI on board – hallelujah), or we simply got tired of smiling and are knocked out.
I did all of the above until I need to pee. I entered this tiny prison room with great pressures already. No windows. Just enough place to make a 360-round turn. (If you need to). The smell of urine is all around. My shoes are sticking into something. I am praying (windowless) not to be able to figure out what I am sticking in to. But damn, I do figure it out. I want to puke. The toilet paper is half wet. Once again, I don’t want to know what made it wet. This time I pray well: I have no idea what made it wet. The water is dropping only. The soap is like a cottage. I was wondering if I should taste it to make sure it isn’t my beloved diary product. But the urine smell forced me outside sooner than I wished so. It’s dark. The animals are sleeping. I am walking through the aisle. I walk like a mannequin on high heels: slaloming between used napkins and ice cream caps. Water bottles and newspapers. I am gifted. I manage without slipping.
I am back to row 21. My safe area. But then I feel something under my feet. I am stepping on a newspaper and water bottle. I was animalized. I am just one in the zoo.
I close my eyes to feel human again. I take a big breath to know I am.
But why? Why did I do that?
I open my eyes. I see his feet. Bare feet. The air stinks. There is no escape. I am stuck in the zoo, where humans are animals. Orwell, my man, you were right!