I arise from my seat and dust the crumbs of granola from phony blue leather to slide out past my neighbors and stand upright in the center aisle. Safe Travels by Peter and the Wolf tap and pluck into my ears. “My brother dreams of a new land,” and I cross borders, mountains, and tall trees to try out the scenes—to scout for a new open stage.
I fold forward, head over hips, face tucked into knees, and sway side to side, my Gola sneakers pounding heels one by one on worn, thin carpet. These are not ballet shoes, but I am in tune with the stretch, and the melody paints a clear, long runway before me in which to dance.
Chorus alights, strumming textures, heart grows in my chest, and in one sudden moment I could be pirouetting down the aisle, jeans my tights, a loose bun already pinned to the top of my neck, arms open and close to wood on snare, each aisle and seat A through F my audience, flight attendants my grips, ready to close windows and turn down reading lights to set the mood, captain my director, I, the lone choreographer, the one woman show.
But at once I spot a colored screen, and see we are passing into Iowa, where all that lies beneath are cornfields. And my patrons sit sleeping in their chairs, headphones pressed into ears; they were never mine.
So I turn and push open the vacant door, snap close the lock, and rock out. The dehydrated and greasy girl in tight pants and a striped boat-neck top dances with me, a reflection in two mirrors.