Benny Horowitz on little bathrooms in the sky...
The Gaslight Anthem

Ramble, rant or reminisce, this is an artist’s opportunity to pen their own Clash article.

This issue, The Gaslight Anthem’s Benny Horowitz on little bathrooms in the sky...

“Do not be too timid and squeamish... All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every time a plane crashes, I have to assume that somebody was using that little airplane bathroom each time. Some man or woman had their hand up their own ass, monotonously painting the butt fence and staring at a glued-up ashtray with a non-smoking sign above it.

Or washing their hands, staring at their Valium bloodshot eyes while fuddling with those impossible ‘one hand at a time needed’ little sinks.  

There was probably even someone waiting outside that door staring at the little red ‘occupied’ slit, envious of the person inside. Shifting their legs around and staring at the faces of everyone sitting there, half sleeping, most of the others watching TV or reading, and a few staring right back. 

Morbid thought, I realise. But just one of those things I ponder from time to time.  You can’t choose your time, and something that is so encompassing and ridiculous at the same time can very easily end up being your last thought... 

While I’m taking a seat in an airplane bathroom, I always like to picture myself up there without a plane. Just me, pants at my ankles, flying at 800MPH through the air, at 36,000feet, tall above the clouds, pooping. Almost like Snoopy on top of his dog house when he was the Red Baron, donning a scarf and old leather WWI goggles. Just tearing through the atmosphere by myself, face flapping in the wind, handling my business. I welcome these thoughts up there; anything to give me a laugh in such a situation.

When I can get over my unbearable anxiety and claustrophobia of being on an airplane, I can sometimes muster the view of the righteous man. Which is: we are damn lucky to be able to fly. In reality, we are lucky to be part of such a small timeline in history where it’s even possible. 

For thousands of years people stood on the ground wondering what was up above those clouds. And now, millions of people have seen those clouds from the top, myself included. 

I try to remember this thought often when I fly, put it in perspective and douse my fear with a high risk/high reward scenario. I guess I feel like it’s worth it if something happened; I’ve been able to travel all over the world due to music and airplanes. And I’m glad I didn’t let my fear of it keep me from all the things I’ve seen. 

Just some thoughts on...well, shitting and airplanes I guess.”

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