Social media content creates a modern fable in 140 characters
Having an unruly passenger on a flight is something most flyers dread. It happened to film producer Cassian Elwes recently – and he turned it into utterly compelling, insightful and incisive social media content. As first reported on Buzz Feed, the incident, while first unsettling, ultimately becomes incredibly moving.
If anyone ever thought it was impossible to be profound on Twitter, think again…
I want to write this all down before I forget it even though its 3.45am. I just got home. Tonight I took the 9pm jet blue from ny to lax
When I got on the plane I went to my seat 20f a window seat I had specifically booked. There was someone sitting already in my seat
A youngish looking guy maybe late 20’s( turned out he was 32) quite burly white crew cut lots of tatoos. Gang looking maybe.
Hey that’s my seat man I said. A quick drawling f— you its mine now was the response I sat down next to him mumbling ‘charming’.
He pulled his hoodie over his face & leant against the window like he was going to sleep.2 minutes later along comes a young japanese couple.
He has the aisle seat next to me and his wife the one directly behind him. He asks me if they can sit together and I happily oblige.
We take off About 1 hour into the flight the japanese lady who was sitting next to hoodie gets up and trades with her husband.
Hoodie wants to get up. he walks to the back & stands in the galley for 10 mins just staring at the metal wall. The stewardesses ignore him
Then he comes back and sits down. The japanese couple are squeezing away from him. He starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper
Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini tv in front of him. The wife calls the stewardess who comes and tells him to stop
Then he wants to get up again. This time he walks to the front. I feel uneasy and I go back & tell one of the ladies that he’s acting weird
And I’m really not sure that its a good idea that he’s hanging around the front where all the buttons are for the doors.
In the front I see some sort of exchange with him and a lady who’s just come out of the loo. He starts back down the aisle and stops halfway
He just stands in the aisle staring at some guy not saying anything for 5 minutes like he wants to fight someone. The japanese look worried
I go back & say to the stewardess isn’t there an air marshal who can come and sit next to hoodie. She says no they can’t identify themselves
The air marshal’s only there to stare at the cockpit door & protect it. She calls the captain who says there’s another off duty one on board
The japanese couple get up and go stand in the back.The plane is totally full & there is nowhere else for them to sit.The off duty guy comes
He sits down next to hoodie and they exchange a few words. I’m right behind and now hoodie starts shouting at the guy f— you many times
Hoodie tries to get up but air marshal blocks him. More f— yous. Hoodie throws his vodka at him but it lands on the couple in front of him
The stewardesses come up and try to talk to hoodie to no avail. Then they look around & ask if anyone wants to volunteer to sit next to him
As the japanese couple refuse to come back and the air marshal sits away from from hoodie on the aisle saying nasty things to each other
I’m feeling quite guilty for switching with the japanese couple in the first place and volunteer to sit next to him.
I stand up and look over. Let’s talk let’s just talk I say. Hoodie who’s called marco says I know he’s a cop to the air marshal
And then he looks at me and growls you must be a cop too. How many american cops do you know that have english accents I say
You’re f—ing security he says again to me. No I’m not. I’m going to sit down and were going to talk about films. Do you like films. Yes
I sit. The smell of alcohol is incredible. Do like movies. f— you. Do you go to films. F— you. Do you write at all. F— you.Yes he says
Where did you grow up. I’m a f—ing marine man don’t f— with me he says. I will kill you man. Come on I say what have you written ?
I wrote a short story yesterday. Really marco what was it about.A kamikase pilot.he sees his kids & his wife in flashback just as he crashes
ThIs is not a particularly reassuring conversation 20 rows from the cockpit. Where did u grow up. Lower east side man ny. Shooting heroin
My father killed his father who was a bad man and my father’s dead. I live in queens now. I went to the marines to get off drugs.
He pulls out a canister from his pocket filled with little green pills. He swigs from it. The plane jolts and the pills fly everywhere.
Did u ever write about the marines. F— you man I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve seen shot no man should ever see. I can’t write it
I tell him I’m a movie producer. He tells me he’s going to la to work on a commercial doing construction. I gotta work man but I hate la
I turn 2 the air marshal. I think I can keep him talking for the next 2 hrs until we get to la I say .Too late he says we’re going to denver
Listen man I want u to read my stuff. Its a movie. Cool I say. Give me your email which he does. I want to give you something man he says
He pulls out this patch that says ‘stay’ on it pic.twitter.com/dHhAEWJ9
the captain comes on and says there’s a small problem on board and we are diverting to denver and will be landing in 20 minutes
Marco is oblivious to this,wants to tell me about all his tatoos. He shows me the one of his arm with the madonna. I shot heroin in her eyes
& then he pulls up his wife beater & there’s a giant skull on his chest. See this huge scar a n—-r tried to stab me in the heart in queens
But I held up my hand just in time & I got this scar on my wrist too. I seen s— man. The air marshal whispers tell him were landing in la
Listen this flight was quick we’re landing in la I say. I want to write down my email for you.Hey lady he says to woman in front gimme paper
I give him a pen and he starts to write as he swigs more pills from the little bottle. Don’t forget me man. I won’t I promise I say
You’re going to forget me man and then he punches me quite hard in the ribs. I laugh in shock. Then he whacks me on the thigh which hurts.
I stuff his address in my pocket. He wants to wrestle. I push him off jokingly which stops him. Don’t forget me man he keeps saying
The plane starts a rapid descent. The air marshal whispers to me get up when we start taxi-ing. The cops will come on ,get out of the way
Marco is still repeating don’t forget me as we land and taxi. Wow I hate la he says again. I need to go to the bathroom I say and get up
The captain comes on and asks everyone to remain seated. A precaution he says. A few minutes later 2 policemen come in . Marco stands up.
With not much fuss they handcuff him and lead him down the aisle and out of the plane. Its silence. The 2 stewardesses come up and thank me
20 mins later a cop comes on board & asks me 2 follow him out 2 the jetway. The lady who was coming out of the loo earlier is filling a form
He groped me she says. I’m pregnant and I’m pressing charges. An fbi officer comes up to me and asks to write out a statement.
I write that I used to be william morris agent and I’ve dealt with difficult people before and really this guy wasn’t that difficult
Just then 6 police officers come quickly down the jetway with a guy they r pushing/holding/ walking. Its marco but he has blue mesh hood on
Just as they are about to reach me they make a hard right out of a side door and down some stairs to a waiting police car.
Marco is fighting it. He tried to spit at us says one policeman trying to justify the hannibal lecter mask they have on him.
Now I can’t help feeling bad for marco. Its a federal offence to make a plane land and the charges from the woman will probably be assault
We eventually take off again. I replay the whole thing in my mind again as the adrenaline wears off. What’s the message what’s the point
I realize the point is these wars are f—ing with our children’s minds. A whole generation is being sent home screwed up.
I find one of the pills on the floor and the nice lady in front googles it on her phone. Its clonazepam a drug for bi- polar anxiety. Heavy
He was probably very anxious about flying. I opened his note and this is what he wrote :
‘We all love the ones we hate. Blood. Lust. I was born in queens. We all lose hope’. Marco I won’t forget you I promise.
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