It’s Always Snowing in Nova Scotia: Prologue

March 3, 2009 at 7:04 am 5 comments

“Have you every heard of the Wordsworth trail?”

I’m overcome by intense revulsion. Every nerve in my body shudders in disgust and dehydration. I don’t reply, hoping he takes the hint, but it’s to no avail.

“I’m hoping to get out to England next summer to walk it. Either there or South America.”

My fellow passenger Dave launches into a long monologue about the hiking he does, the trails he’s been on, the ones he wants to visit, and how old age is slowing him down. He’s been at this for while now; he spent nearly an hour asking questions about me and my film major. I spent that same hour downing glass after glass of water in an attempt to forestall a hangover, desperately wishing he’d leave me alone. Now it’s his turn to talk about himself.

I am very worried that this man might be hitting on me.

It’s not that I have a problem being hit on by men; indeed, it’s something I’ve dealt with before. But this guy has to be in his mid 40s, and it’s creepy as hell. How do you politely tell someone decades older than you ‘no’? I’m 19 now, just a day shy of 20, so what he’s doing isn’t actually illegal; it’s just a clear violation of the half-plus-seven rule.

He mentions that he teaches high school. I worry for his students. I flag down a passing stewardess.

“More water, please.”

*****

The water is more of a precaution than a necessity. I’m not hung over now, but I fear that at any second I could be. A few of my friends threw a small farewell party last night. It’s the closest I’ll get to a birthday party on this side of the continent. Not coincidentally, it’s also as close as I want to get to one.

“I booked my flight for tomorrow because I was incredibly bitter. I didn’t to be here for my birthday.”

This is true but in retrospect kind of cruel, the kind of thing you don’t tell your friends. 2008 was a very bad year for me, a year in which I was at points starving, disease-stricken, seriously depressed or just an abject failure. When I got to the end I decided I just wanted to be anywhere else, so I booked a plane ticket to see my friends back east. I even told my roommate Alyssa that I might never come back.

And then, things got better.

Running away from your problems is much more difficult when you don’t have any.

*****

Dave has stopped talking, but what he’s doing now is even worse. He’s broken out a packed lunch and eating his vegetable dip with his fingers, licking it straight off the flesh. Whenever a stewardess walks by he asks them for floss. I can’t help but hope this is all the licking he plans to do in the future.

As the plane lands my brain goes into high gear. What am I going to do if he propositions me for bathroom sex? Can I just lose him in the terminal? Will there be a confrontation? Will security be called?

After we touch down Dave grabs his bags and walks away. He doesn’t even say bye.

*****

It’s Toronto to Moncton now, and the going is rough. The sky is thick with snow, and out the window I can see the wind bouncing the wings up and down. It’s like the plane, in a desperate attempt to stay aloft, has decided to flap like a bird.

We touch down, and the plane skids on a patch of ice. For split second I’m sure we’re all going to die, and I’m ecstatic. It’s not that I want to die; I’ve just always suspected I’d go out in a plane crash. It would be nice to be right about something for once.

Instead the plane’s wheels find their grip. We slow to a crawl and inch our way to the terminal. When I finally get out I can see my friends waiting, one of them holding a sign reading, oddly enough, “McNeil”. They’ve come to get me. I’m home.

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Family Hour It’s Always Snowing in Nova Scotia: The Long Road Home

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stephen  |  March 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Why don’t I remember all this? Was I in another black out due to rage?

    Reply
  • 2. jon  |  March 4, 2009 at 3:41 am

    you were at work. also, i told dani to claim the sign was because she speaks no english, and benji complained that the airport lounge was closed.

    Reply
  • 3. stephen  |  March 4, 2009 at 4:44 am

    So I was in a black out due to rage.

    Reply
  • 4. Dani  |  March 4, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Yep… s’gotta be the rage.
    I totally told him in English I don’t speak any English too.
    I’m disappointed Benji didn’t carry him around the airport like he planned to.
    You should compile these posts into a novel and sell it at corner stores. I’d buy 12.

    Reply
  • 5. Mariana  |  March 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Wordsworth! maybe it’s another clue from those mysterious livejournal messages.

    Reply

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