There is a moment that comes at 30,000 feet when your stomach requests assistance. Usually this happens about five minutes after your back has requested the same. You remember that you have brought frozen black bean soup from the freezer. You thought it would thaw and be good cold, even without the Mexican cream and chopped chilis it so richly deserves. You thought you could get it frozen through the Homeland Insecurity Department.
You have also brought a spoon, and remember the time you forgot the spoon and the flight attendant allowed you to use hers. As you fondle the spoon, you realize something else. Plastic freezes and cracks at certain altitudes, rendering the plastic bag in which the cracked container was housed to be full of black bean soup. The container has had its limit. As has your back. And your stomach.
That’s when you ask for the airline “menu.” You order the roast beef sliders with the package of horseradish sauce that requires your seat mate’s hands, and a pair of pliers, to open. There are two “sliders”, slider being a word for a small sandwich. A very small sandwich. Both sandwiches appear wearing a “bun” that should have stayed in the freezer. You say a small prayer of thanks for what there is, which prayer refrains from mentioning what isn’t.