We read it in your pale skin, your bloodshot eyes, your shaking hands.
Don’t hide them. If we can’t read your ticket, we might get the impression that you’re stowing away; Hiding yourself among the people who fit here.
Malingering your way aboard.
What are you looking so shocked about? Did you think this was a safety briefing like you get from the airlines, with smiling flight attendants miming how to stay cheerful and comfortable when you hit the ground at five hundred knots?
It’s too late for you lot. You’re here because you’ve already crashed in one way or another.
So no faking it. We’ll know. Wear your pain, your exhaustion, your unhealed scars. Wear them where we can see them and we’ll have a seat for you.
Not first class. We don’t do first class. You’re all in this together.
On you go, now. Take your time. Limping is good. Shuffling is good. Your walk is part of your ticket.
Who’s that bounding in there?
Stop her, stop her at once. No, we don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to look at you. We’ve seen enough.
Keep moving the rest of you, nothing to see here. That’s more like it. It warms our hearts to see your lack of enthusiasm mixed with your gratitude for letting you aboard at all.
Find yourself a seat and don’t bother asking:
We’re nowhere near there yet.