Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

If You're Reading This, You'll Know I Made It Out of This Horrifying Flight Alive

If You're Reading This, You'll Know I Made It Out of This Horrifying Flight Alive

(I thumb-typed this whole thing in my Notes app while I and my fellow passengers bounced around an airplane cabin. The woman next to me grabbed her son's leg like the chubby thigh of a nine-year-old would somehow save her life at 30,000 feet. He was later overheard to say: "What? You don't like Star Wars? I must force you to eat the fingers of your other children." Everything was fine. It was all fine.)

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I'm on a flight right now that is so turbulent they won't serve us water or let us goddamn pee, and I'm pretty sure we're all going to die. I've been engaged in a regular gratitude practice for nine years, because I am constitutionally inclined to cleave to nihilism, which would make you think I'd take time during this hour-and-a-half long brush with death to be grateful for the life with which I have been gifted, but no, not today. I'm in no mood. Instead I'm going to bitch about how my cat's been robbing me of sleep and good will.

We changed Onion's food a couple of weeks ago, and it messed with his system, which meant he left gooey, acrid pools of diarrhea in whatever clothing of mine he could find. He even pulled shirts out of a still-packed suitcase so he could squat on their softness filled with the comforting scent of me. He doused our single socks box with it. He thoughtfully pulled everything out of my beautiful yellow leather bag and squatted over it, leaving a juicy pile to insinuate its evil into the hide.

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I barely slept for over a week, because his 3am scuttling from corner to corner in search of my sweet, sweet laundry would wake me up. I had to smooth talk him over to the litter box like we were dating and remind him how enticing the sound of scratching at clean litter was. Yes, I scratched his litter with my hands. He'd look at me like all of my ideas were truly terrible and painful to his little, kitty heart before climbing woefully into the box. Rinse and repeat for nights on end.

For a week since then, he's decided that he's mad at me about something or other, which means he's switched out the diarrhea for his ammonia and pine scented version of GO DIE IN A FIRE, ELAN. When I walked through the front door two days ago, he was waiting there to hop into our shoe cubby and let it rip on a pair of mittens. He wanted my witness. NO YOU DON'T, I yelled, dragging him out of there mid-steam by his back legs. He fixed me with one of his impossible to ignore glares. I told him we were through. He softened a bit and gave me guilty glances over his shoulder. I called him baby. By the time I'd mopped up the mess and doused the mittens in this special bacteria-based enzymatic formula we keep on hand because of this mutt, Onion was putting on the wee baby kitty voice he reserves only for true emotional neediness. I was sneaking him treats and telling him he was my one and only true cat love within an hour.

Onion the cat
Onion the cat

Anyway, I'm tired. Gratitude schmatitude.

I accidentally opened my phone with the front facing camera just before this flight, and I almost went hunting for a paper bag and scissors to make over this sagging, broken out face of mine. Ten hours of sleep over the last four days, not to mention the paucity of adequate rest over the previous week and a half, is doing tragic things to my good looks. Once you're past your twenties, you can't cure tired with some coffee and a plate of fries with gravy anymore. You can't cure it with anything. You just have to scan around for everyone in the airport who looks more like trampled poop than you do and feel satisfied that you're not as bad off as them. Thank god for people who buy the wrong size clothes and fall asleep in public with their mouths open. Do you have weird hairs you can't manage to shave sprouting out of your adam's apple? Thank you for helping my alarming ego regain its footing.

As much as I'm okay with dying on this flight and never having to deal with literal shit again, I am surprisingly agreeable. Sleep deprivation has robbed me of everything but a smiling, mindless compliance. I've been nodding pleasantly through three plane delays and last minute gate changes and some rich white guy who complained loudly about the taxes he has to pay on his multi-million dollar estate like this was a bonafide problem he had to waste his feelings on. If you've got a cult to grow, I'm primed for one right now. Count me as your +1.

If you're reading this, you'll know I made it out of this horrifying flight alive and that I am nesting in a hotel room in New York after 14.5 hours of travel, dribbling barbecue sauce on a bedspread I don't have to wash and without any other mammals who poop on my stuff and rob me of this precious gratitude I've been trying to cultivate for lo these many years.

I'm alive! I'm alive! I'm alive! And look, there's my gratitude. It's back because I am on vacation from everything that requires the liberal use of a special bacteria-based enzymatic formula to chase the nihilism away. Sweet, sweet life.

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