‘Up in the Air’ (Ryan): “I was a late bloomer”

RYAN: I was a late bloomer. (back to story) It was January and I had just gotten my driver’s license. The lakes were frozen over, so we piled into my car and hit the ice to do donuts. When, out of nowhere, I hit a soft spot and the hood of my car tilted up and I’m sinking backwards into the water.

My door wouldn’t budge and we literally started to drown. Within a few seconds, I black out. Then, I wake up in the sky. I’m in a helicopter, laying on a stretcher. This guy in a uniform is telling me I was minutes away from dying.

Right? (relives it for a second) So just as we’re hovering over the hospital, I sit up. And from there, I could see the whole western horizon. Snowy rivers. Bridges with sparkling tail lights. (a beat) My parents had lied. They’d taught me we lived in the best place in the world, but now I could see that the world was really just one place and comparing didn’t make much sense.  (catches himself)  We’d been flying twenty minutes. Twenty minutes to reach a city I’d thought of as remote, halfway across the state… a foreign capital. And I remember thinking – Don’t tell me this isn’t an age of miracles. Don’t tell me we can’t be everywhere at once.

More Monologues from ‘Up in the Air’

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