Anthropologist/writer Antropologė/rašytoja
Anthropologist/writer Antropologė/rašytoja

Solveiga Zibaite


On flying and breath and death in 300 words

The water bottle on the foldable table in front of me begins moving slightly, its contents softly rippling. My intestines turn into knots just like earphone cords do in pockets. I peek at the flight attendants. They smile. But this fear inside me has its own life. It builds within me a mystical knowlege that the flight attendants are unaware of. How can I know more than them? I hold every single possible disaster scenario at the front of my consciousness. I know they have also acquired this knowledge, but the difference is theirs is at the back of their minds.

Fear endows us with a sensory knowledge of impending doom, coming at you at the speed and abject of a flying cockroach. Due to fear growing in us, we know more than the people around us. Those who don‘t fear, are blisfully stupid.

I hold my breath – tell myself that time is passing even when I am not breathing – I don‘t need to prove my vitality to it. Not like I must do to men, who want to test my flexibility, sense of rhythm and whether my eyes can avert quickly enough from their gaze. A look to intense, a contact prolonged beyond decency – I will always lose. Well, some men only care that you breath, but time really doesn‘t. So you might as well save your breath.

I see a pregnant woman a few rows ahead of me. She stretches, turns her torso to one side, to the other. She clearly doesn‘t think she is going to die on this plane. However, it is very plausible that every day since she saw the positive pregnancy test, her thoughts had been focused on dying while giving birth.

It took quite a long time for me to realize that I am most likely not going to die in a plane crash. This apprehension brought a great deal of uncertainty into my life. Now I can die anywhere and anytime – what unbelievable freedom!

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Published on January 26, 2018