Basically Surrealism

I’d been traveling for nine fuckin hours in a suit and tie. The suit and tie was just a facade. I had no money. I pulled nickels out of the couch cushions to afford this economy flight. My gold watch was fake.

Anyway, it was me and this motherfucker who was eating almonds the entire time. The entire time. The entire fuckin time. He had a party sized bag all for himself. This gluttonous, crunching motherfucker.

When the attendants came around asking if we wanted a snack, guess what he asked for? Almonds. More almonds.

I’ll take the pretzels, I said.

We don’t have pretzels, said the attendant. How about some almonds?

No thank you.

Almond Boy put his party sized bag in his backpack and started working on the Delta Airline brand almonds. If I wasn’t so annoyed I might’ve asked him to compare the two. The crunching certainly sounded the same.

I read about this type of torture where they constantly drip little drops of water on your head for days at a time. The victim starts to lose their mind. It was like that. I was on the verge of ripping that bag of almonds from his stupid hand and shoving it up his stupid ass.

Finally, the mumbly voice of the pilot came from above and said we’d be making our descent into San Jose. I was all like, Thank fuckin God. I yearned to be free of Almond Boy. I yearned for a sound, any at all, that wasn’t the sound of crunching almonds.

I leaned forward and closed my eyes, my tight-ass tie choking me just a bit. I didn’t care. It was nothing compared to the pain Almond Boy was inflicting upon me. Just breathe, I told myself. It’s almost over.

Suddenly something was on my back. Something sort of heavy, but of fabric. Fluffy, but heavy. Was it a bag that fell from the compartments above? Must be, I was thinking. It’s just a bag.

I turned my head around to discover that this bag was a dog. A live fuckin shih-tzu had jumped up from the aisle and landed in between my back and the seat.

The dog sat awkwardly in its little crevice and all I could do was say, Uhhh.

I looked at Almond Boy. He looked at me, then at the dog, then looked away, as if he was pretending that he didn’t notice.

Uh-uh Almond Boy. There’s no way in hell you’re not in this one with me.

So I asked him, Whose dog is this?

I don’t know, he said.

Where’d it even come from?

I don’t know.

I picked the little squirmy shih-tzu and placed it on my lap. You’d think there’d be someone looking for it. You’d think there’d be someone hollering, Todo! Todo! Where are you? You’d think the people in the seats around me would be watching this ordeal with wonder, perhaps offering me some guidance as to whose fucking dog it was.

But no. Everyone on the plane was acting as if nothing were awry. As if a shih-tzu running down the aisle and jumping on your back was so ordinary it didn’t even warrant eye contact.

So I hollered, Um, is this anyone’s dog?

Now this was one of those big-ass 737s. When I hollered that, a whole fifteen yards worth of heads popped out into the aisle and looked at me.

And you know what they did next? They pulled their heads back in and acted like nothing happened.

Every single one of them was like, Not my problem.

But maybe I was out of mind. Had I taken something? Was I gonna end up on Youtube: CRAZY GUY ON PLANE HOLLERING ABOUT IMAGINARY SHIH-TZU.

The dog was oddly calm. I like dogs. Always have. I was tempted to pet its little head but I was also nervous that that would in some way say that I was accepting it as mine.

The flight attendant walked by and I shot my arm out in front of her.

This isn’t my dog, I said frantically.

In hindsight that was probably an extremely confusing encounter for the poor girl.

What? she said.

This isn’t my dog.

Okay…. Whose is it?

I don’t know. It just jumped up on top of me.



Well…that’s a problem.


Well, she said, I guess I could take him.

My fuckin savior. I balanced the shih-tzu on my palm by its naked belly, and passed the burden onto her. Perhaps in that way I was a coward.

She took the shih-tzu up past the curtains of first-class and that was the end of it. I never saw the shih-tzu again. Apparently you can just bring little dogs onto planes now. I did not know that.

It was then that I noticed that Almond Boy had stopped chewing. The chaos of the situation must’ve made him nervous. Sometimes it’s hard to eat when you’re nervous. Or maybe he finally got his fill. Took him long enough.

I watched the back of his dumb head looking out the window and waited for us to land.


Joseph Sigurdson is a writer who can't grow a full beard.


Category: Airplanes

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