Thoughts in flight

I am sitting at the airport waiting for my plane. I deliberately scheduled almost a 3 hour layover because who wants to sprint across the airport the day after a marathon? We already had to switch planes because our scheduled flight was delayed. We would have had 15 minutes to run across the airport to catch our flight if we didn’t switch. I almost laughed. 

The other option was to take a later flight in the opposite direction from our destination. I almost had a panic attack at the thought. Both afternoon flights to Chicago were delayed due to mechanical issues. 

I can tolerate an hour flight unmedicated…even with mechanical issues…on a small plane that once had ashtrays in it…I can’t remember the days that smoking was allowed on a plane. I suppose that would be very bad to be caught smoking on a plane. Almost as bad as having your mug shot hanging up at the post office. 

Did I mention the turbulence?? Apparently most plane crashes happen during take off and landing, not due to turbulence. I decided to educate myself on flying because supposedly education about fears alleviates anxiety. Nope, now I am pretty much afraid the whole flight. I think about things like how can planes see other planes through the clouds.

Then my mind grows darker.. I remember every story, tragedy, TV show, or movie that portrays a plane crash…an air traffic controller not paying attention on the job causing a crash like in Breaking Bad, mechanical failure, a gaggle of geese flying north into the propellers, terrorists. 

Too bad I’m not flying over a deserted tropical island like on Lost. It might be nice to live in seclusion for awhile. 

Yet, despite my fear, I feel captivated by seeing skyscrapers and water from a different perspective from my perch in the sky. 

I wonder if the little oxygen masks ever drop down if we need them. Does anyone ever live to tell us if the safety precautions actually work? 

I think of the scariest caravel ride I’ve been on. I think of falling, fast..I wonder what people think about right before they die. What if they don’t know it is their last breath?

I wonder if the pilot is drunk or high. I search for signs of problems with the plane. What was that sound? Is it me or is the flight attendant looking a little stressed?? 

We had to fly with a different airline when we switched our flight. I had to hobble down to a far terminal. I didn’t see one little train, escalator, or people mover. I hobbled around feeling like I was slowing down traffic. I wore my marathon shirt with fierce pride. 

The next flight I took my anxiety meds. I worried that I would have an allergic reaction and die in flight . 

Then the worry goes away. I don’t clench my husband’s hand quite as hard. 

I imagine floating in the air towards God in the clouds. 

When we land, I don’t worry about getting to our hotel. The methodically planned arrangements bounce off my medicated mind. I walk slow…lethargic…unworried…with a heavy lead marathon limp. 

Somehow we arrive safely to our destination the day after the marathon. 

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