Monday, April 11, 2005

There was an orthodox couple on the flight back from LA. He had a long black beard and glasses and was dressed in his white shirt and black suit and black hat and he gave her the black hat to put in the overhead and she looked left and right and left again for the right place to put it and finally placed it gingerly in an empty spot. She had a rounded, beautiful face with a sensual mouth that wanted to laugh. She wore silver wire-framed glasses and black tights and a dark green skirt and a black shirt and when she strained to reach the overhead with the hat her shirt pulled up to reveal a tumescent belly, lined with a stretch mark or perhaps a scar. I spied her belly button there in the shadow of the shirt right before her husband tugged the hem down reflexively to preserve her modesty and she didn't object or hardly notice.

No more real food on Delta flights it appears, only crinkly blue-and-white packets with Oreos and raisins and crackers, a meager and vaguely insulting repast distributed unceremoniously like so many Meals Ready to Eat or nutritionally optimized famine relief rations. The water is Dasani by Coca-Cola. There's something odd and creepy about Coca-Cola selling water – it's as if Disney started selling TVs, or Simon & Shuster sold printer paper, or something. And naturally they oversell it. Enhanced With Minerals For a Pure, Fresh Taste, it says. For crying out loud, what does that mean? It's water, for Christ's fucking sake. And there's more: DASANI is filtered for purity using state of the art treatment for reverse osmosis... And then the real kick in the balls: DASANI is water – pure and essential. Jesus fucking Christ. How is it pure if it's enhanced with minerals for taste? It's everything we want water to be: pure, fresh, essential. Water out of the tap is never quite that – it's just fucking water. Dasani is water reconfigured and branded to satisfy not our thirst but our fantasy of water.