Sunday, September 9, 2007

Flying Into Surreality

One of my favorite things to do while flying is to watch in-flight movies.[1] No, not the way you might think. I never sit back and watch them. I never pay the requisite two dollars for the headphones, and never accept them when they’re offered for free. I have too much to do, you see. I have books to read, and sometimes books to write, and always have with me the music to provide the proper soundtrack.

But the in-flight movies are a favorite pastime nonetheless.

I love looking up; between chapters, between songs, before my meal, after my meal, when I need to give my eyes and my mind a break from whatever is taking up the bulk of the flight, and watching a moment of the in-flight movie. It’s surreal, watching these fragments, these soundless snippets of the story, without knowing the characters, without understanding the plot. When the flight and the movie are done, all that remains is a vague impression of the whole built from the tiny window through which I’ve peered into the larger story, with the huge gaps filled in by my imagination.

And it’s even better when flying first class on those plans new enough to have video screens in each seat back. Each person around me is watching a different movie – or better yet the same movie started at different times. It’s like a smorgasbord for the imagination.

Of course, it doesn’t help get that damned data flow built, and neither does blogging about it. Damn it.

[1] One of my least favorite things is turbulence. I hate that stuff.

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