Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tomorrow I leave

The time has finally come. I can tell you honestly, though, that I am not excited? Why? Because I hate flying that much. My stomach is in knots, I am anxious, and I am full of so much dread that I can't even look to Monday's touch down in Europe.

I try not to think about it, try to enjoy this last full day in the United States, but I can't. Everything reminds me of airplanes. I was just on Blogger Play, a new Blogger product that shows photos from public Blogger blogs, and what did it get stuck on but an image of Death sitting in a graveyard. Just what I need to further the psychological mess in my head.

I remember the first time I realized I was afraid of flying. I had already made three transatlantic flights and one transpacific with no problems, but on a fourth transatlantic flight, I was nervous, and then, on a flight from Dublin to Manchester, I realized that I was afraid of flying. It has just gotten worse since then. Back in 2002, I flew from California to Ohio for Christmas but bought a car in Ohio and drove back cross country in part because I didn't want to fly. I also used a snowstorm as an excuse to delay a trip to Jordan by a day because my nerves had gotten to me. The more I fly, I realize statistically the chances of something happening are increasing.

I once was on a flight sitting next to a singer and her agent. I knew this because he was on the phone even as we taxied out to the runway. The singer was terrified of flying and we tried to talk our way through the takeoff, which really helped the both of us. I was pretty sure then that singer was Aaliyah, who later died in a plane crash.

Logically, I know that thousands of planes take off and land every day, and that the planes I will be flying on make those same routes on a daily basis. Logic is all fine and good, but it is always overruled by emotions. Look at John Madden, the former football coach turned announcer - he rides a bus everywhere across the country because he is afraid of flying. At least I force myself to get on planes. If I didn't, I'd never get to go anywhere!

In two days time, I shall be kissing European soil, insha'allah. I wish I could just sleep through these next two days!

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