The countryside around here was clearly built by malevolent children for acting out obscure and dangerous rituals. It makes me think of sharpness; the edges of broken glass and half-opened tins. Scissors. There's no-one around.
Litter scattered; blown on hedges and snagged on the thorns. The distant hedges look like marker pen drawn onto rough cardboard. There are straight lines of:
Lombardy poplars, Leyland cypress, and Ornamental cherry.
High-tensile security fences ring areas of blank land. I can see no reason for this. Perhaps something is going on but hidden, or about to go on. Something is going to happen. The land waits like a child waiting for a smack.
Trees are left alone in fields of wheat. Over there; destroyed electricity pylons, surrounded by orange plastic day-glo webbing. And I can see from here that there is Bad Weather at Heathrow. I am jittery and my hands are sweating. The aeroplanes pillowing up through the air look unrealistic.
I can see the planes taking off around the one I am sitting in.
The aeroplane people perform a safety demonstration.
Something out of a Laurel and Hardy film.
Clouds thicken and curdle like meringue over my head. The plane is going backwards. They keep saying "short flight". The lights are flickering, and it's raining.
FASTEN SEAT BELTS.
Taxiing for take-off. Wings changing. Runway ahead. I have done this before I have done this before I have seen Hounslow from the air before.
A windsock. How quaint.
Lumbering over concrete runway slowly.
A grey sky and a sense of disbelief overhang this ridiculous field.
I'm now bored by my anticipation of this imminent flight.
131138BRITISHAIRWAYSSOUTHAFRICAN QUANTAS27LCATIII/III13887RUNWAY AHEAD.
A brief booming of the engine like a growling gong. We stop again.
I consider the runway. It’s pocked, painted and old-looking.
Then a floating sensation that seems too slow. Toy houses and tiny cars. Lurching. The M4, is that? Clouds tilting. Nothing, white nothing. Lurching. White light, and into the sun above the clouds. So eerie and dead. The plane tilts and the clouds fall away. I can see peeling paint on the wing.
A landscape of clouds, mountains, valleys, craters and seas.
I feel sick.
Everything is very white and blue. The plane is sort of steady. Looking down I imagine the cities and the people who I used to know lived in the clouds. I'm now above the cities I invented when I was on the swings at the park.
I shouldn't be here. I'm the destroyer of my own illusions, the death of my imagination, the bringer of all that is sensible and responsible.
If I had been strapped to the wing I would have been dead long ago; a frozen husk.
If I was to fall, how long would it take? What would the clouds be like?
The clouds are rippled like sand after the tide. They look like death will look, but I am suspended and safe from harm. If I fall the clouds will catch me. The shooting and explosions from my planet are silent, and the sky burns a harsh blue above the tilted wing of this floating abstraction..
There is nothing but blue and white, upon which this wing is pasted like a cut-out. I knew this couldn't be real. I always knew.