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August 14, 2012: My Phobia

Everyone has a phobia. Mine is a fear of flying. I begin to dread flights days in advance of them. Then I’m a wreck while on the flight itself. The worst is night flights, aisle seats, bad weather. The best is day flights, window seats, good weather. This is what I got on the return trip.

The flight attendants always ignore me, a lone figure in a seat, looking petrified. I suspect that I’m one of many. They pay me little mind because they know that flying is a fairly safe activity. Best, they think, to just let those who are scared, be scared.

I'd rather go by train

But the way I see it, every single bump, or change in engine speed is something to fret about. And what’s with the beeping sound? I relax a bit when the seat light belt goes off, but grow tense when it goes back on. Time nearly comes to a stop when I’m on a plane. I can’t imagine being on a 15 hour flight—seems unreal to me.

A part of my phobia has to do with a lack of knowledge about air travel. How, I wonder, could it be that being up at a height of 36,000 feet, in an aluminum cylinder, is safe. And how is it that planes are able to stay up in the air? It doesn’t seem humanly possible. Round and round my mind goes.

I feel victorious when finally, as they always do, the plane lands, for once again, I’ve cheated death.

I’m okay with all this, which is until the next time when I have to fly.

Next: 250. 08/15/12: Home Again, Home Again