Joy of Flying

When it comes to sex, there are no answers, only questions

| January/February 2001 Issue

There is the thrashing around of sex and there is the young boy on the plane to England.

First the boy: I don’t know the child—a friend told me the story. An American family relocates to London. Ex-hausted by the excitement of his first plane ride, the young son falls asleep over the Atlantic. At Heathrow, his parents carry him from the plane to baggage claim to their taxi. He wakes, finally, groggy and quiet.

He lives in England. He is like any child, so he looks at animals and attends school and gets haircuts now and then. One day, sipping milk at the breakfast table, he looks up at his parents: When, he wants to know, will they get off the plane?

There is that and there is the light shifting almost obscenely after sex. Because of dusk it’s gone blue. The universe’s great sad moments come in this blue and, as though stoned, I decide I’ve never seen the world quite as it is now. The fly butting the windowpane from the inside, the cat with the dirty ears just beyond, the space that opens between two bodies recently inseparable, a space unveiled like a—

Let’s go, pal, she says.

I’m up, mopping off. We have a movie to catch.