This one's a little different. We get a lot of top of mind writings so today I'm going to ask you to write in that style, let it sit out there for a few hours, then respond to your scene with a rewrite of that scene.

The prompt is for a scene with two or more characters in a confined space.


We flew sideways.

People used to flying in civilian aircraft don't understand that in military planes you take off facing backwards, but then rotate your chair sideways to face your workspace. So we flew sideways. It's safer that way anyway, not that anyone ever really survives a plane crash.

It was fun ninety percent of the time and we would listen to music and make jokes and talk shit. Just being young men in general when we could. I have spent over 1500 hours of my life in the fuselage of a C-130 of some variant or another. That's equivalent to 9 weeks flying around in a little metal tube, so you get to know the people that sit sideways with you pretty well. The best people that I ever flew with were the ones that forgot their rank as soon as they stepped on board and let the mission happen. And if the mission was to fly over a shithole village in Afghanistan for 6 hours while we stared at clouds for no reason, then we would wait for a break in the clouds and stare out the window. I was lucky that we flew during the day so there was something to stare at, or at least there would have been if we were somewhere worth looking at.

But instead we were stuck in the plane moving around in circles and wishing that shit would go down, and then wishing it hadn't. Even within that space I would be further withdrawn into my own music. I worked with a different unit and brought my own equipment onto the plane, and the best decision I ever made was to ask my maintainer to make a patch cable to let me pipe in my iPod to my headset and no one else's.

You are never alone when you are deployed. You room with others, you shower with others, you shit with others. There is nowhere to just be alone, ever. But in that tube at 8,000 feet, I had a little cocoon that I could retreat to. Even then I knew what a luxury that was and was extremely thankful for it.

posted by Isherwood: 1367 days ago