As my flight to Detroit took off, I saw a United plane pulled
off the side of the taxiway with smoke coming from underneath
it. With that comforting image, my plane lifted off the
I’m the daughter of a retired Army test pilot/current
American Airlines pilot, so I’m not afraid of flying (unlike
my poor fiance). What amazed me was the lack of response I
saw from the rest of the plane, which surely consisted of
some number of fearful flyers. I expected the three year old
in front of me, who spent the 40 minutes we waited in the
take-off queue loudly identifying everything outside, to say
something akin to “Look, Mommy, smoke!”
But there was nothing.
I try to remind myself occasionally that everyone is at least
a little paranoid. Is that guy following me? Why is that
chick looking at me like that? Omg I saw that car at work and
the grocery store, am I under government surveillance?
Perhaps today has been a particularly paranoid day for me. I
had about an hour to kill on the D.C. Metro en route to the
airport, during which I played a rousing game of “what if my
train ended up crash landing on a magical island?” Does it
make sense for my ground transportation fantasy to play out
like LOST? No. But I’d argue it didn’t make sense for LOST to
play out like LOST.
The first group of people in my train seemed like prime
candidates for island survival: a government intern, a guy
with a beard, and a homeless man having an animated
conversation with himself. There was also a girl, but I
wasn’t very inspired by her, so she was our first crash
Once we landed, the homeless schizophrenic wandered off into
the jungle, later to be found dead at the hands of the Others
or the Smoke Monster. You know, something to keep us on our
toes and alert us to the ever-lurking danger of the unknown.
Meanwhile, government intern dude and I scavenge the wreckage
of the crash for…well I didn’t get that far, really. I
don’t anticipate finding much on a derailed Metro train. So
he and I try to build a radio from the electronic parts.
Unfortunately, he’s a political science major and I did
poorly in the circuits portion of physics, so we are really
spinning our wheels.
Our savior, of course, is bearded dude, whom I imagine has
all the knowledge of the hippie guy on “Dual Survival,”
because beard. He makes fire and hunts wild boar with chicken
wire placed on the Metro by the producers, then flags down
the crew waiting to pick us up via helicopter conveniently in
the last 30 seconds of the show.
At this point in real life everyone got off the train at
Dupont Circle, and I was left with a new tribe: old
government worker lady and scared-looking androgynous
hipster. I decided I would have to be the leader of this
group, and there was no way that would play out well in my
fantasy LOST scenario.
My imagination often gets away from me when I’m paranoid, not
unlike a child with a monster under the bed. Maybe that’s why
I enjoy writing so much, it gets the monster out of my head
and onto “paper.”