I say “Abrogate,” and one of the twinjet engines explodes.
The passenger beside me, with whom I’d been discussing recent mutations in particularly virulent strains of white nationalism, cries that she doesn’t want to die without ever having loved. She kisses me as oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, and later, in the afterlife, she’ll begin what promises to be a lengthy discourse on the use of South Korean baby foreskins in Kate Beckinsale’s beauty regimen.
I don’t think I’ve ever ridden on a plane before; certainly never first class.
Now I’m getting poetic: “Our lips press together like nectarines crushed between volumes of Anna Karenina and War and Peace.”
My eyes open, our lips part. I watch the woman who had looked a bit like Audrey Plaza turn into an aged Hannah Arendt.
Amid the screams and shouts, a steward rushes down the aisle, exhorting the passengers to play a game. Nobody can think of one for once.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” he snarls. “Everybody just recite your favorite line from Shakespeare!”
Scraps of Romeo and Juliette, misquoted Hamlet and Macbeth. As the plane goes down, I can only think of Russia.