I want to sink my teeth into the fury of how unfair life can be. Bite down hard against anger and angst. In a single beat of a pounding heart I became afraid to fly. Just like that.
For as long as I can remember I have loved flight. Take off and touch down. Soaring above the clouds, looking down. I always wanted the window seat. Counting swimming pools and skimming mountain tops. I always exhilarated in the escape. Flying. I couldn’t get on a plane often enough. Until Wednesday. Four hours before take off I teetered on the edge of terror. This would be my first flight with my mother. In memory at least. I flew as a baby, I’m sure. I mean, we got to and from the Caribbean somehow when I was less than five. But, but! But. this would be my first time flying with mom. If the plane went down we would leave my sister an orphan. Irrational fear #1. From there it all got worse to worst. Do geese fly at night? Irrational fear #2. Our pilot is eating a cheeseburger and looks like he could have a heart attack any second. Irrational fear #3. Which country is mad at the U.S. this year? Irrational fear #4. On and on it went. All the way to the airport. All the way through security. All the way through boarding, buckling in and blah blah blah announcements. I felt like I was losing my mind.
In a way I was. To lose two family members in quick succession, neither of them possessing a life threatening illness. To watch an otherwise secure marriage crack and finally crumble. To have the knowledge that bad things really do happen to good people. I couldn’t help when it would be my turn to fall down. If I was going to fall why not from the sky?
I’d like to think that without my mother on board I am the happy-go-lucky traveler I once was. I’d like to think that I’m just that. Lucky. I’m not sure. In the meantime I will bottle the fury I feel. Gnash my teeth and bite down on the reality that life will never be the same.