Today, I looked out of an airplane in the night sky.

You know how you pause to look up at the sky when you’re driving down the road if you see an airplane? It seems so tiny to you. You start to wonder where it’s going and who is on it. And then you think, ‘I’m looking up and wondering about those people but they don’t even know I exist. I’m tucked away in a car, thousands of feet below them, thinking about them. I can see it. Some of them are shushing their stirring children. Some of them are shutting their windows and curling up with their cotton ball sized pillows, exhausted. What are the odds that any of them would be looking out their window and wondering about who is in my car? About me?’

Today, I flew across America. I flew across the Hawaiian Islands and up the Pacific Northwest. I stopped at Seattle. I flew across the Midwest and peered down at Chicago, which was dwarfed by the Great Lakes. As my plane descended into Reagan National Airport, we flew at maybe a few hundred feet. And when we skimmed across a highway, I finally saw it. I finally saw the expressions of the drivers beneath us, surprised and curious, trying to peer into airplane windows. I saw a family on bicycles. Shocked at how low we were flying. They stopped and stared, surprise written all over their wide eyes and open mouths.

Tonight, after two tiring weeks away, I realized a simple thing as I flew back into the capital of America, my hometown, the place where every basic premise of my life – my education, my socioeconomic status, my cultural upbringing – was determined. You may think you are invisible to others but you may not be. They just might have been watching you all along, mirroring your curiosity and concern, albeit unknown to you.


2 thoughts on “Today, I looked out of an airplane in the night sky.

  1. “You may think you are invisible to others but you may not be.” — wise words. i’ll be keeping them in mind. loved your inaugural post, arkie!

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