Unfinished #10

I’ll explain it to you: when there is a catastrophe, they always pull out a black box from the wreckage or floating in the middle of the ocean or in a backyard, a dog licking at the hot metal, a little boy watching from a trampoline.

Sooner or later they find the black box and they plug it into a computer and they listen. When they fast forward to the moment of malfunction, the moment when the warning lights blare on, the moment when the gauges turn hot red and steam shoots out of the control panel and the pilot knows this is the end, when he presses down on the intercom, the investigators have found that most pilots begin to apologize.

Sorry, oh god, dear god, I’m sorry.

Can you hear the pilot? You’ll be chili powder before you can acknowledge.

You’re too busy trying to accept your own fate to worry about somebody else’s, unless you have a son or a daughter, like the little girl who flew out of a viewport into the vacuum of space because of a pressure leak. Is your child wearing a seatbelt? Did you find comfort in the fact that it might save your child’s life? Or did it tear flesh in half at impact?

All in split seconds. That’s how long it takes to go from flying to burning.

I have dreams where I turn into a human lava lamp.

From The Smartest Man in the World


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