flying by surprise

flying by surprise

swinging at venice beach

when i dare to become powerful, 
it becomes less and less important
whether i am afraid

or something like that, said audre lorde.

perhaps my fear of flight ties into trouble feeling good or doing well or being powerful — or maybe just being recognized as feeling/doing/being as said. this nervousness seems to tie in somewhere to the giddiness about breast surgery, as well as the fears and perhaps even guilt that i have felt.

at any rate, i flew. but i flew by surprise. so i’m not sure whether to feel good or proud about it or not. but therein lies the grain of salt, the bother, perhaps the pearl itself.

here’s how it happened… as quoth from the bbs:

leanne wanted to do something special to celebrate my biopsy and its results, so she blocked last weekend, april 25-27, out on the calendar. i met her after work on friday and she led me to BART. just when we came up out of the tunnel on the oakland side, she broke the news that we had a 7:40 reservation on JetBlue to Long Beach. now… in my mind, i translated this – momentarily – to “we have a 7:40 reservation… for DINNER”, and all was well – but when she then produced a valium from her bag and said we were visiting ted in venice beach, i knew something was seriously up. she thought of everything – the valium (though i thought of flying the trip back without it, watching those planes before takeoff just sent me a bit far), the rubber band (!), the aisle seat, up as far front as possible, the preboarding.

the flight itself — it’s great! all great; i love the banking in the air, the view, and i love jetBlue! the (faux?) leather seats and the tv on every seatback… the wacky crew… the new A320’s. a little hard on the first landing – but leanne says that’s because computers control it — nose down so hard? she even chose the least intimidating airports she could think of — oakland is great, just take BART — and long beach — why, that’s practically like a small train station, and you even walk across the tarmack to get on and off the plane.

in venice, we went to a dinner where ted introduced us to his good friends and they and everyone in town seemed to be in on my trip, looking at me and wanting to know how the flight was. at first, it felt a bit humiliating, but then i realized nobody was saying “it’s so much safer than driving… the fear is silly… you shouldn’t worry… etc” – people were curious and understanding – one even shared his deep fear of dogs. it was really nice that way…
later, when i was talking about some past guilt i have about a relationship, leanne looked at me and said — have you never gotten over this guilt, and you feel like you don’t deserve to live through beautiful plane flights, instead doomed to crash and die? a thought that had occurred in the past…
but in the meantime, there’s valium – and – this time – total lack of anticipation.

of course the problem is this is not really practicable for that wedding in august i said i can’t go to, and i’m not running to purposefully fly anytime soon… but i did have a good time flying this last weekend… and would like to learn how to fly helicopters or something, since i seem to like it so much.

some doubtless will not understand this particular fear and babble, perhaps even dismissively. but everyone’s, for sure, got their own little spiders, dogs, and dark places — this i am sure of … as also of the freedom — and okay, the power — of overcoming them.

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