Life as an Extreme Sport


written on United Flight 262, SeaTac to Dulles, red eye

The stars are bright and the moon is full, illuminating the wisps of clouds below. Further down, under the cloud layer, are the cities of Middle America, the flyovers, stretched out in bright hazy orange clusters as far as the eye can see. Stretched to and beyond the horizon. They look like neural ganglions, the glowing tendrails of the highways connecting them in a perfect mimicry of our own neural makeup.

The sun set for me almost two hours ago, but we are racing east, racing home, and soon enough the sun will rise to meet us, cutting night off with a mere five hours, if lucky.

The sun will be up and burning by the time I am home, a new day. But I will be home.