536 miles away

There is no time when the tiny agonies of long-distance are more acute than when they’re slotted between a rolling drink cart (why do the tiny whiskeys cost $9?!) and the sleeping stranger in seat 36B. On the seat-back mini-TV there’s a constant reminder: the plane is going 536 miles per hour away from what you’re now certain is the only thing that makes you happy. By the time a body’s metabolized the peanuts and pretzels, it’ll add up to 3,968 miles. It’s blindingly fast. It’s hard to shake the melancholy, the lost, helpless feeling of being trapped on a floating tin can hurtling toward an empty bed.