Well, tomorrow morning at 6:20 a.m., I should be white-knuckled and hyperventilating. I know I’ve said this before and you are painfully tired of hearing me whine, but I really, really hate to fly. However, my entire family lives in New York, so unless I make a decision to disown them all, or move back east, which, by the way, is a strong possibility, several times a year I have to force myself to hop on a plane and bite my fingernails for five agonizing hours.
I’m not sure what the psychology is for other people who fear flying. But for me, it’s the reality that if an engine fails or there is a sudden wind shear, or the pilot falls asleep, 200 tons of metal, wires, glass, and humans will fall out of the sky and hit the Earth at about 500 MPH.
I try my best to relax. I listen to my iPod, watch TV, and read. And I sometimes fall asleep, but when I do, I fear I’m going to snore or drool all over myself, and that would be very embarrassing.
Most of my family and friends love to fly. They try to reassure me that statistically, it’s the safest way to travel. And I do my best to buy into this theory—up until the moment the pilot turns on the intercom and announces that we might experience turbulence for the next 20 minutes. Turbulance. Who invented that word? Some pilots try to dilute the impact of using the word, turbulence, and instead say that “It’s going to get a little bumpy”. Bumpy is fine if you’re driving a car, motorcycle or bicycle. But when the gap between the vessel you’re riding in and the Earth is 35,000 feet of air, then “bumpy” is just as terrifying as turbulence.
So, tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, I won’t be sipping a hot cup of coffee. Instead, I’ll be guzzling some Kaopectate.