Another fragment from the online graphic short story, “The Java Knot”.

“The flight had been the usual affair as flights go. Packed. Turbulence that saw the stewardesses hustle to buckle in for half an hour. Some child with an ear infection hitting a whistling high C at 110 decibels. Somehow, I always manage to be within two rows and to the fore of a wailing buccal cavity in misery. And while it’s a rare occasion, fortune saw to it that the narcoleptic passenger to my right kept metronomically landing 15 pounds of head into my right shoulder. When I’m not fitfully trying to avoid the flop and jerk of my own drowsies, I like to write, or sketch, during the flight. Did I mention I’m right handed? Stewardesses traipsed back and forth up the aisle with drinks and unwanted snacks, more such now that the airlines are hedging the possibility of in flight anaphylactic shock. Ear plugs are the high altitude attire that create some form of gated perimeter for those not wishing to eavesdrop on the politics, sports goop, and small-talk job resumes within earshot. I don’t wear ‘em. Maybe my hearing, like my pop’s, is slowly cruising the dusty road of atrophy and my vanity refuses to take notice. Maybe, due to the swirling waves of public white noise, I welcome it. I don’t sport a very keen sense of smell either. Further protection and comfort in the pool of perfumes and flatulence you could find yourself in on a crowded tube of humanity. Either way, I didn’t get any agitated dialogue from the row in front of me till we had landed. And only then did I get the odd scent drifting towards me from the two men now standing in anticipation of their aisle disembarking. It may have been all the other distractions and my effort to maintain a calm within the environs of my seat that I now swore to a haze, or a light vapor, or smoke, rising from the older gentleman. He was sweating. And both he and his apparent travel companion were wearing very similar reddish brown leather jackets. Jackets like the type detectives wore in cop shows from the Seventies. You knew the second you saw that cop, that he was on the take. The two guys in those brownish red leathers were talking in hushed tones, with the younger one seeming to display an attendance that was at once of tender and threatening concern.”

Pitt Artist Pens on Hahnemühle watercolor sketchbook.

The Java Knot (continued…..)

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