I got to be small for 5 hours between San Francisco and D.C…
Sitting in a plane by the bathroom allows you to experience the world as a child sees it.
There is a continuous line of towering adults standing just inches from you, not paying attention to you, talking above you in some other language as you stare at their belt lines and midsections. You’re close enough to see the threading in their pants, the few lines in their corduroys that have worn down more than the others. You can see the outline of their keys in their pockets, but you’re not in the conversation.
Despite your proximity, you’re not the priority.
You can stare at them freely; you almost have to because they’re so close. They’re in the space of your breath and your thoughts.
They’re so tall.
Occasionally, one will bend down to speak to you and it will be intimidating. It’s simply the logistics of your respective positioning but you can’t help but feel like the student, the abiding child, with your neck craned, smiling up at them while their hands clutch the top of your headrest.
They’re probably not even reveling in their height. They’re not thinking of how tall they appear, at least not as much as you’re thinking about how small you feel.
You might have something to say; you might even know a little more than them, but all of those things seem to fall away simply because you’re looking up and they’re looking down, a heavy symbolism that has no place in determining the hierarchy of things, but often does.