Burbank – January 2, 2011 – 10:47 AM

FLY QUIETLY, the sign says, as the engines roar to life, twenty thousand pounds of thrust straining against the metal fuselage of the 737.  There’s a sickening acceleration, passengers pushed into chairs, conversations halting as people crane their necks out of the tiny double-paned windows or surrender their train of thought to the noise of takeoff.  Forces push down and down and down on everyone’s heads as the plane struggles against gravity, then one wheel leaves the macadam and plane is up, up, airborne, rising up into the smog.  It banks and wheels north, and everyone on the right half of the plane is now staring out their window at a cemetery growing smaller and smaller as the plane climbs higher and higher, plots blending together as tombstones become a lattice becomes a lawn becomes a memory as the plane rolls, straightens out, and crests the clouds, screaming through the sky, leaving nothing but echoes behind.

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