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When that infant two rows behind you keeps screaming its lungs out throughout the flight, across seventeen hundred miles. A brief pause every now and then, when exhaustion takes over. But you know it’ll soon start again. And you think: All that effort. For what? You can no longer recall where you boarded the plane or where you’re headed to. There must have been a reason for your journey. You try to concentrate, to remember, but all there is is that desperate and constant shriek. Triggered by a basic need in all likelihood. Food, sleep, warmth, a familiar smell, a soothing voice. A gentle stroke, perhaps. And you think: That thing should shut up already. Whoever brought it on the plane should tell it. That it’s not worth it. As someone should have told you. Too long a shot. You’ll never make it. The sudden silence is welcome and disturbing at once. Unsettling, as it was not expected. A woman brushes by you, much too close, you have an aisle seat. Carrying a fleece blanket wrapped around something small, a foot dangling. Wrinkled, blueish in colour. The silence persists. You wake up the words of your captain speaking through the PA system. Please everyone stay seated, we have an urgent medical situation on board. Disembarkation will be halted until after the emergency team has handled the situation. All that effort. For what, really?


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