Thursday, February 20, 2014

Souls can't move that quickly

She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien's theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

You may object that your body is moving faster than jet speed at all time; certainly if you are within 40 degrees of latitude of the equator, your body is moving at least 800 miles per hour at all times and in a constantly changing direction.  Not to mention the rotation of the Earth around the Sun, the movement of the solar system, and whatever else.  But these are all natural motions.  It is the unnatural motion of the airplane, and often the unnatural motion of the person sitting directly behind you on a five-and-a-half-hour flight whose skeleton is not well-suited to the distance between 24A and 23A and who insists on transmitting their discomfort to your lower back via their knees with both frequency and amplitude no matter how hard you jam your seat backwards in an attempt to dislocate their kneecaps, that exceeds the soul's natural ability to shadow your body.

This is also the cause of space sickness.

There is no cure but time and rest.  Palliative care is possible via organic chocolate ice cream with caramel and fudge bits.  Chocolate pudding helps as well.

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