Saturday, December 17, 2005

I Fly, I Cry

Background: When I was five years old I had my eardrum burst. I lived in a lake town and each summer after spending the entire summer under water either in the lake or pool, I also spent one day at the doctor's office getting my ears cleaned and uninfected.

Now each time I board a plane I cringe. Mostly because I know the feeling I am going to feel during take off and landing. I also cringe because with each flight, I am becoming more and more afraid to fly. Nope, it doesn't have anything to do with 9/11. It has to do with the fear the plane is going to flip completely over when making a turn. Or that the wheels are going to snap upon landing. Or how the hell does a plane get off the ground to begin with. So more or less I hate flying.

So I board the flight. Lately I have been flying the cattle car airline Southwest where seating is wherever you would like to sit. I like to chose the first seat because it means a couple of things...when the plane crashes I will probably and hopefully be the first to die and it means I don't have to wait for the 900 other passengers to get their damn 40 bags of carrying on out of the overhead bins.

So I board and I take the first two rows if available. Lately, now that you can check-in online, I am normally the first group to board right after the screaming babies. And where do the screaming babies sit, but the first couple of rows. And each time I sit next to the mom flying with a child or more, they say I am brave. Really I secretly know that when the child starts crying because of their ears, I can cry right along with them.

My ears are so bad when the plane starts the descent that I become nauseous from the pain. And I am damn near tears. Individuals watching me squirm and wiggle to stop the pain would probably think I am some freak. But recently while flying to a funeral, I was able to lay on all 3 seats and my ears didn't hurt one damn bit. So I have learned that if I lean my head to the left that the pain disappears. So this last flight the two individuals sitting next to me thought I was snooping, which I was, into their conversation and staring at them. I finally explained when we landed that I just have the worst ears in the world.

And invisibly I wiped away my tears.

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