Aviophobia

April 1. 11:17 p.m.

Airplane mapWe’re somewhere over Kansas and climbing. I watch the speed and altitude while I fly, wondering what cockpit chatter is about, trying to put myself there to understand. I’m a nervous flier. I question every little knock and ping on a plane, have mild agita when the TV computer system has to be rebooted. I cringe when the reading light doesn’t work.

And these things happen on planes, more frequently. Plane travel is the new bus travel, in many ways.

This has become a shimmy-shimmy flight. Subtle turbulence. Plane vibrates like the engine is running rough. Not terrible, just constant small range of movement and sound. I asked the attendant about our climbing, altitude slowly and steadily and our slow speed, and she said ‘yes, it was like this last night too.’ It’s the weather. The Jet Stream.’ Sometimes you want to get above the clouds or winds because you’re fighting the current.”

I sit here with plenty to do, but unable to do it, as my thoughts fixate on that Alanis Morrissette song, Ironic – (It’s like Rain on Your Wedding Day.) There’s a stanza about someone who was afraid to fly and finally took a chance on that trip–and crashed, apparently thinking to himself as the plane fell ‘Isn’t it ironic…”

Well I’ve saved for retirement, and right now I’m not too happy

**

2:09 a.m.

But… the plane landed safely in New Mexico, and after a shuttle ride, I am comfortably ensconced in the spare room bed at my daughter’s house. I know life is fleeting – anytime, anywhere – but it feels grand today.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

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