Yesterday one of my friends took me flying in a small plane from Santa Monica to Camarillo. That morning I woke up at 4 am from nerves. But even though I think I looked terrified the entire time, I really enjoyed surveying California from the air.
Like everything in life, even the earth and ocean look very different when when you take a step back. Los Angeles is a desert and off the shore of Malibu and Santa Monica the white caps boil, and the wakes of boats are scarcely whispers.
From 4,000 feet above the ground no one’s face makes a difference, and crowds on the beach ebb and flow like schools of mackerel. You begin to notice how much of an impact those mackerel can make, when, in the middle of the sun-tanned, drought-ridden mountains, a highway is a line drawn in the sand.
My friend said, “Look at all the traffic! We are superior!” He said he likes to think about that sometimes when he’s flying, laughing to himself about the inferior people on the ground, the inferior people sitting in rush hour traffic on the 110 or the 405, or whatever silly freeway that Californians waste their lives sitting on.
And he was right. For a moment, even though you’re in an aircraft no bigger than a roller coaster car, that he could move with just his body weight, it feels like you rule the world.
Then, when you land, you’re just another one of the mackerel on the beach, sitting in traffic on the 405, not realizing that Los Angeles is a desert, existing in the great big world on a smaller scale.