The airplane was a pressure-cooker.
I felt like some sort of crock pot meal in my window seat, gradually stripping off layers of clothing and carry-ons and pressing my arms against the cool metal of the seat dividers. My window onto to the southern sun with was hot to the touch, even with the plastic shade snapped shut. The radiating heat made me feel as though I would brown beneath my v-neck t-shirt.
Our flight was absolutely full with an interesting cross-section of people. Golfers, gamblers, bachelorette parties. A cheerful murmur rose from the collective when we first boarded. Now it was much quieter. Everyone was wilting and dozing.
Eventually, E turned to me and said, “it is too warm in here.”
“Yes, I know,” I replied, roused. “Feel my window. It’s hot.”
“I’d rather not. I’m already quite warm.”
“You can have my blower, if you need it,” I said, gesturing up to the tiny air-expelling port in the ceiling above us. I could not feel the slightest drift of the breeze it was supposedly blowing onto my face.
“I already took it.”
“While I was asleep?” I exclaimed.
“Yes.” Well, that would explain why I could not feel the breeze.
“What if I needed that air?”
“Clearly you didn’t.”
We’ve been very aligned this entire time. In Philadelphia, plenty of disagreements – all trivial, mind you, but differences of opinion. Outside of it, we react to all things as one. Things that would fall below most people’s threshold of notice, like poorly phrased directional signage or a particularly cool piece of luggage in a crowd. It’s as if our minds are tethered together, having the same reactions at the same time. One massive game of Jinx! You Owe Me a Coke, except for we do not drink soda.
The last 45 minutes of the flight were a sheer test of endurance. I was so hot I thought I might explode in a seizure of thrashing and cursing. I decided I had to accept the heat rather than resist it. I cracked my plastic window frame an inch and pressed my eye up to the crevice, watching the mountains below us turn from black to brown to sandy foothills until my face couldn’t beat the warmth any longer.
We were relieved to step off of the plane, and were greeted with slot machines all of ten feet from our gate exit.
“Play a slot?” I asked E. “They’re pennies.”
“Me neither.” I replied.