Angels of Mercy

Sunday evening I learned that both Band of Horses and Iron and Wine are capable of providing something I never thought existed – the perfect musical accompaniment to a flight where the focus was keeping-calm-and-trying-not-to-vomm.

Despite residing with some familiarity in a place called The Thirties, there are still times I forget to keep count of how many drinks I’ve consumed in an evening. Thanks to downing one or two (or was it five) too many drinks Saturday night in honor of another year in this fourth decade, I found myself the next day in a miserable predicament of proudly holding my hurl through an eternal cab ride to the airport--only to shamefully lose it in a Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport loo. That was a long sentence, but the experience was even longer. A finer moment I do not recently recall.

Suffice it to say, she who gets motion sick at the mere mention of handheld movies, rickety roller coasters and the Mad Tea Party (damn cups spin in more directions than the laws of physics allow) was deeply terrified by the thought of boarding that flight. Still, there was hope. I felt better after my most recent “pour,” and history was on my side. I’d never puked on a plane before –but wait- did that then mean probability was stacked against me? It was anyone’s guess, so I started to pray.

To add insult to illness the pilot gave us an ominous warning at takeoff: “Gusty winds in Chicago tonight, folks. I’m gonna to do my best to land us smoothly, but –huhhuh- well, I dunno -huhhuh.” Forget that Beavis was flying the plane, a turbulent landing lay in wait. Putting prayer aside (no deity worth its salt would spare me my just deserts), I plugged my ears with sweet sounds. Bands of horsies, iron and… (ok, forget the wine) and hoped for the sake of myself and my jailbait plane-mate that he wouldn’t depart with a good story for his buddies.

When the plane made contact with the beloved land and I hadn’t reached for the barf bag or frantically lumbered over jailbait to claw my way to the toilet, I began to believe in the Angels of Nausea Mercy. You might say crying angel's overkill here, but you weren’t on that piece of tin as it violently swayed and bumped itself into the windy city. The plunge into Chicago was the single most turbulent descent I have ever experienced. The proof’s in the puddin', and the puddin' was a whole plane of passengers breaking into applause upon landing. Whole plane, save me. I was still too busy suppressing the urge to purge to celebrate life.

This is "Naked as We Came" by Iron and Wine.

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