‘The Extra Flight’ by Sérgio Sant’Anna


From N+1:

If one noteworthy thing has ever occurred in my hard and insipid life, it was to have been one of the passengers on that extra flight, the one from Boa Vista to São Paulo.

Before I go on, I should explain the circumstances, perhaps fortuitous—however much they later appeared to me as part of a series of necessarily interrelated events—that led me to be part of a select group of passengers bound to fly at 9 AM the following morning.

I was in my hotel room and even after taking the two sleeping pills I had brought with me, I couldn’t manage to fall asleep because of the infernal sounds coming from the bar outside and seeping through the closed window and curtain, combining with the relentless rattle from the ancient and dusty air-conditioner. The music was that kind of looping track made specifically for dancing at sleazy bars and played on the most horrible radio stations everywhere, each song the exact same. Not that I have the most refined musical tastes—I never received an education on the topic—but I am capable of knowing a good melody when I hear one. On top of the pseudo-music, I could make out voices that seemed to be arguing, fits of desperate laughter, muffled screams, the noise of cars and motorcycles, and in the distance, an ambulance or police car’s siren.

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