Friday, February 18, 2011
Attention Passengers, We'll Be On The Ground Shortly
A day of flying is my 'get out of jail free' card. I'm not myself, and people just have to accept my behaviors. On route to the airport, I sit silently in the car, staring out the window, envisioning myself clinging to the armrest when we plunge to the ground. When I leave my house, I assume I'm not coming back. And once I'm inside that metal test tube, you should probably just stun me.
Narcotics help. Now, before anyone gets alarmed, know everything I have ever taken was prescribed by a doctor. He probably wouldn't be thrilled to learn the quantities of alcohol that accompany those capsules, so let's keep that between us, okay?
I can't relax. I panic, becoming shaky, apprehensive, and nasty. Breathing hurts. I snap when someone speaks to me; I say things I would never normally say. And if it weren't for that no smoking law, I'd probably have an entire carton finished off in one short flight to Florida.
There is a point to this ramble. My entire life, I've been plagued by plane crash dreams. Generally, it's when I'm about to go somewhere, but they also sneak up on me out of the blue. I have not flown since my college graduation, when my friends and I treated ourselves to a cruise before starting the horrific stage known as the employment search. That was nearly six years ago, so why the recent dreams?
They're always the same - everything starts off fine, and then, out of nowhere, the plane nose-dives. I never remember where I'm going; I rarely remember who I'm with. But I remember the dive; those last few minutes where, in my dream, my thought process varies. Usually I have that 'of course this would happen to me' attitude. Though lately, it's more of a 'there is so much I wanted to do' attitude. And when I wake up, breathing heavily, sweat layering my forehead, I'm relieved I have another day to journey toward my dream.
But this week was different. Wednesday night, my recurring dream stopped in. There were a lot of people I recognized on the plane, but I can't remember them at the moment. I do remember I was traveling solo.
I share this story today because something interesting - something unexpected took place in that particular occurrence. For the first time, at least the first time I can remember, the plane landed safely. No nose-dive; no panic. The wheels touched, I grabbed my duffle bag from the overhead compartment, and I walked off. Proudly.
People say dreams mean a number of things. Supposedly, plane crashes reflect a feeling your life is spiraling out of control; that you've set unreachable goals and now your life is 'crashing' down before you.
Posted by Paul Joseph