Written by Gabriella Troy
Art by Maria Tyutina


The lukewarm gobs of chicken
in a mystery brown sauce
are what I miss most about airplanes—
and the chocolate chip cookies
that are more chemicals and sugar
than anything else.

I miss the drone of the engine
drowning out the snores of the
eldery man seated next to me, and
the shrieking babies muffling the music
trickling through my old-fashioned earbuds.

I miss the panicked dash to the gate,
the lack of oxygen in my lungs as the plane
first tips into the sky, the cramp in my legs
fighting for space atop bursting backpacks.

Families never step onto a plane without a
breakdown of some sort; there’s always a
problem with tickets or luggage or delays or
whiny children. But they always step off
into a new place, a new day where
they take a breath of recycled airport air
and realize that adventure awaits,
whether it be food poisoning from
sampling street meats or enduring a
chatty cab driver on the way back to a
home that doesn’t quite seem like paradise
anymore.

That’s what I really miss about airplanes:
the excitement of leaving the reality
of your own home for a bit, mingling
with crowds of diverse people you will
probably never see again, making
memories in a different language and
culture and time—everything infinitely
different from what you’ve always known.

Now I’m trapped by my bedroom’s
four walls: Boredom and Isolation and
Frustration and Hopelessness. These
walls used to be my refuge from work
and responsibility in the real world. They
used to feel like home, but I have gotten
to know them too well, like a pesky
sibling that pulls my dreams down the drain.

I wish an airplane would land on my roof
and take me for a ride back to everything
I never thought I could miss. Airplane food
would never taste so sweet after the weekly
rotation of home-cooked meals.