The time before that I was on a plane coming home from Austin, Texas. The world was opening up before me like a flower. A rose, I imagined. A soft, red rose.

Love makes you think of roses. But thinking of roses on a plane is like visualizing a rose in the store – under fluorescents, pumped with preservatives, thorns removed, decomposing slowly before your eyes.

Nothing feels natural when you're in a tin can at 32,000 feet.

We stopped in Denver, I remember. I'd just come from the muggy hot of Austin in March, and suddenly I was in Denver, watching snow fall on the wings. Little crystals collected on the window. I'd never seen snow from a plane before. It was oddly peaceful, in a crashed-in-the-rockies kind of way.

They de-iced the plane with giant snake tubes that sprayed pink foam. All those lovely crystals vanished, and soon we were back in the air, the nose of the plane pointing homeward.

And all I could think about was roses.