Written on a Stranger’s Map: An Excerpt

 
He had always said that when he no longer had the interest to marvel at the grand piles of clouds seen from an airplane window, or to imagine how it might be to fall through them into the clear air below, or to wonder why the lines of breaking surf did not move towards the shore, or who it was exactly, emerging from a hut into a forest clearing at first light, he had always said that when he would rather read the in-flight magazine, he would know that he was lost.

Fuller stared through the window of the DC8 seeing nothing, the caution of his younger self only grazing his mind. The magazine lay discarded on a vacant seat. From the seatbelt sign and the nearness to the ground he guessed it was Kangaba, that the city on the coast was Kingston. There was no attempt to approach an airport, the pilot seemed lost or intoxicated, forcing the elderly passenger plane to make wing tip pirouettes above the hills then swoop low over the city and out across the sea. The sea glittered too bright, too pretty. Fuller, his large body wedged more firmly in its window seat by the violent forces, was unimpressed, his gaze unmoved. The air outside would be hot, the situation difficult. Inside, drops of condensation sprinted across the plastic trim and spotted Fuller’s shirt.