Flying scares the crap out of me. Not only do I lack wings, but I own no parachute; both of which would guarantee my departure from this earth in the case of an in-flight catastrophe. More than fright over a sudden drop in altitude—from 30,000 feet to the nefarious terra firma—my fear of flying is deeply latched in my psyche.
Reaching as far into my childhood as intellectually feasible, I’ve always reveled in retaining control over my circumstances: creating and sustaining the bubbles in a bath, hosting and conducting games on the block and (now) operating any automobile from the driver’s seat. It’s not a domineering need for power but a heartfelt need for stability. I regularly obtain a certain sense of security when holding my circumstances by their shirts, not their necks.
So, when entering any airport, someone usually drops me off (I don’t drive), conducts me along a check-in line (I’m not conducting) and hoists me into the gigantic bubble of the sky (with no hope of managing it). It’s downright alarming, like the foul stench of a roadside rest stop. On top of this huge mash of chaos, I customarily hear a subtle whisper that I’ll somehow approach my designated gate only to hopelessly watch as my flight and its punctual passengers laugh into the firmament.
What have I done to overcome my aforementioned fears? A few things.
Without fail, I first talk to my wife about the flying process ad nauseam. She’ll loyally detail the precise steps: from the drop off to the drop off.
Second, I try by all possible means to have an airborne partner. In this way, I’ll follow them, which, in my reasoning, is an ingenious form of control.
Finally, with all the power my feeble heart could muster, along with the enabling of Divine Providence, I charge the airport, knowing full well it might be uncomfortable, uncontrollable. Like the Vikings, I savagely roar at the air, for it only is a small foe in life!
What I’ve discovered, you heinous system of flight, is that fear has fangs. And fraudulent courage ignores fear’s jagged teeth, but true courage endures the bloody bite while doing exactly what one dreads. For all those in my humiliating position, fly on until flight no longer mocks you. It will be worth it!