M E M O R A N D U M
To: The Crying and Screaming Baby on Delta Flight 691 (ATL-GDL)
From: Leonardo José Díaz, M.Ed.
Date: June 3,2012
Re: Crying and Screaming - Annoying People in the Airplane
Dear Crying and Screaming Baby:
You don’t know who I am and I don’t know who you are but our existential roads have crossed and here we are at 40,000 feet of altitude sharing a ride into The Pearl of The West. I’ve been listening to your crying and screaming for the past few minutes and I want to share a couple of thoughts with you before we land and go home or die a terrible, combustible death together. Some day you should read Renata Rodriguez Leal’s “Fearsome Flight” which, despite dealing with a macabre possibility, is a thing of beauty to read.
I don’t know how to be polite about this, but you should really know that you are pissing off the vast majority of people around you with your ceaseless crying and screaming. A few of these people are visibly upset and affected.
I am not one of them.
In fact, I have been listening very closely and have hypothesized that you either have a tummy ache or an ear infection. I am not an M.D. but I am the proud father of two and have been where your parents are right now: helpless to a degree and in a social setting where others are annoyed by almost anyone else to begin with, especially by a crying baby.
I personally find this paradoxical. Everybody loves babies except when they are crying in airplanes, buses, restaurants and other public places. It’s a conundrum that takes some from “look at the cute baby, goo goo ga ga” to “puta madre, que se calle ya” in a New York minute.
The world can be heartless and hypocritical so I must share with you an important message from a friend: “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies— God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
It’s already bad enough when people ignore your pain, but to scuffle and belittle you with looks of desperation and utter frustration……kindness might be losing the battle if you ask some but I have faith in babies like you growing up to redeem us all in a not so distant future.
In any case, before we land or die, please know that not only do you not bother me, but that I really wish I could help with what sounds like a bad tummy ache. “Pobrecito, le duele la pancita” is what my mother would say, bless her soul!
Please know that I’m with you and that I hope your pain goes away soon.
Your “single serving” friend on a plane,
Post Scriptum: Your parents love you dearly and you are very fortunate, there are many lonely and sad people on this Earth we are flying over (I am sure some of the boneheads pissed at you now are some of them) Please make sure you return the love when the time comes and know that they did their very best to alleviate your pain during the flight, and that it worked. You are in your mother’s arms sleeping like a baby!
Leonardo Diaz's Other Poems
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