I don’t work in the kind of profession that offers travel benefits. I’m not whisked around the country or region or world for business (or even pleasure) but sometimes – one time, really – there is flying.
I don’t work in the kind of profession that waits for you to feel better to do your job, that gives you sick days without a grudge or lets you sleep when you’re tired. My job makes you stay up straight for 36-48 hours. It forces you to save dying patients somewhere into your thirteenth straight hour of being on your feet. To think coherently and organize an inter-hospital patient transfer by army helicopter (because we don’t have actual medical helicopters).
Then my job expects you to fly a patient to the other end of the island, long past the time when you should have gone home to your boyfriend and your cat (your cat will never love you if you keep this up) while making sure this patient keeps breathing until you can get her the help she needs.
My job is endlessly demanding. Forcing tired, gritty eyes to watch the rolling greenery of the Cockpit Country, while deep inside your sleeping brain you wonder why the government wants to destroy this last bastion of nature, uninterrupted. Peer down at hidden away houses so high up in the hills you wonder how they got the cement and blocks that far. Watch buildings, light posts melt away to ponds and trees, the odd farm here and there.
To fly, lost in your thoughts and the steady roar of the engine that is fighting gravity for you. To fly until you leave behind the hills and valleys and peaceful farms and blend again into well-paved roads, multi-level architecture and
Look, there’s the hospital now. My job forces you to stay awake for hours and hours with no thanks. No pat on the back.
But sometimes, there is flying.