Three men and a Plane

Some time ago during summer months three of us used to take our lunch break out on the canteen landing. This idyllic setting was on the first floor. After a few weeks one of the men said.
“There goes my plane.” I asked him what he meant and he said. “Every day at this same time that plane flies right over us.”
For the next week we monitored his statement and judged that he was correct. This small plane did indeed fly overhead routinely at the same time.

None of us really knew much about planes but we came to the conclusion it was a single-seater. Naturally, we could have been wrong and there might have been more than one person in the aircraft. Discussion revolved around whether there was an emergency exit door on a single-seater plane. Would there be the obligatory rushing figure on the Way Out sign? As everyone knows, you’re not supposed to run in an emergency and how could you run in a plane this size? Semiotics experts are in full agreement that this sign is plainly wrong.

We continued to look to the skies and watch, what was now “our” plane. Tension arose if there were another plane in the sky. From ground control it is hard to judge altitude and distance. The near misses we feared were probably high, wide and handsomely off the mark. One of my friends got metaphysical on us.

“We watch that plane every day yet we have no idea who the pilot is. And that pilot, so far away, does not even know that we are here. We are just a square on the ground whereas he is part of our lives. This must mean something. It must mean something on a higher astral plane.”

It was difficult to disagree and the weeks of our gazing at the man in the sky went on. And then one day the airplane did not appear. We checked our watches. It was his time but our radar couldn’t pick him up. He never flew by us again.

21 thoughts on “Three men and a Plane”

  1. Oh, it does mean something on a higher astral plane, it means that the pilot may be still part of our lives, but he’s probably changed planes, but in truth and looking at it philosophically, we still have no idea if it is a single seater, or has dual controls and even a passenger.

    In the grand scheme of things, it is unknowable , JW. It could be insignificant, or ne plus ultra.

    Only time will tell and Ferrier is right, or possibly wrong, who knows, but ” minds-together-with-that-which-they-apprehend” oddly springs to mind.


  2. A distinct possibly. 🙂

    “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    ‘Tis as plane as the noise on your face. 😦

  3. Good post; you could almost spin it out into something longer – perhaps a really good short story…
    I like the idea of other worlds; other dimensions near our own; it is like Shakespeare’s strange allusion to ‘music from the spheres’; or the stars and the planets.

  4. Love the comments, ladies. Thanks.

    I think I meant to write- mega physical. “We watch that bloody plane every day and he ignores us.”
    As for episs, espissed, espitolo…forget it. Although, it is a nice tag. 🙂

  5. Nice story, I was waiting for a punch line, it was better without one.
    When I was a kid my mum used to walk me to school, we would leave at the same time every morning and as we reached a certain point on the route Mum would look up and say, “here she is, right on time”, as a TWA Super Constellation would be dipping low over Barnes as it began its final approach into Heathrow Airport. I can see that lovely aircraft now, one of the most iconic of the 50s. Brought back a nice memory, thanks Royalist.

  6. Way over the top of my small furry napper.

    Was there a plane or not? My tiny brain hurts.

    OMG woo hoo!! Great to see you around chum.

  7. Janus

    Western Med in May is in the book, not your neck of the woods I’m afraid so that drink will have to wait.

  8. JW – To put the boot on the other foot, when I was working for real I used to fly frequently from Singapore or Honkers to Sydney. Either which way you cross the Oztralian coast somewhere between Broome and Catherine in the Northern Territories and fly onwards for six hours or so to your destination – Australia is a bloody big island, especially diagonally.

    Looking down from 35,000 feet, which covers as fair an area of land as you can imagine, you would see absolutely nothing apart from the occasional horseshoe shaped front of a bush fire, but every so often a single electric light glowed in the darkness. I would have loved to have stopped the plane and jumped out to ask, “What’s your story? What brought you to this remote speck of earth where you have to drive 500 km just to buy a bottle of milk?


  9. Thanks Oz. This puts a whole new perspective to the story. You’ve taken it to another level turning the blog into a kind of Vantage Point excercise.

    Oh, and hello OMG.

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