aida loves the earth.
so sorry that its been so long since i’ve posted. i’ve been places where the internet could not follow. it was rather nice in a way to be unplugged from the virtual world and to experience life so fully. since it’s been so long that i’ve posted, this post is long. grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your feet on the ground….where they should be.
Satan's Arrow of Certain Doom
so, i love the earth. yeah, yeah, i know that this is a very catchy marketing line. “love the earth” water bottles, t-shirts, granola bars, humvees painted green, and canvas bags can all fall into this massive scheme. but, i’m serious, i LOVE the earth. like the earth is my BFF with benefits.
when i got off the plane last night with a tear-streaked face and fingers cramped from gripping the seat in front of me, i wanted to kiss the earth. it’s rather difficult to find here in miami, though. it all wears a rather crunchy candy shell of concrete. but, the first patch of bare earth will find me spread eagle giving it a kiss. who knows? it may even get some tongue and a little dry hump.
i am a creature of the earth, of the sea (because the earth is right underneath it. i can dive down and touch it.) creatures of the air have hollow bones, feathers and rather pointy mouths. my bones are calcium dense (thank you herbal infusions!), chock-full of marrow, and heavy. the only feathers i have are a found on a pair of earrings i bought from earthbound trading. and my mouth is many things, but pointy is not one of them.
i HATE flying. there are people that say this because they find the seats in the airplane too close together. others, because they have control issues and don’t like it when someone they can’t see is driving. still others say it because they don’t like having to take their shoes off in public. what they mean is: flying INCONVENIENCES me.
remember that little bad dream that a certain dante had? pfft. the ninth circle of hell? ha! dante could only write this little adventure because planes had not yet been birthed from those deep, fiery bowels. that’s right. planes are satan’s winged arrows.
being a recovering christian, i still have certain moments where i feel that there just might be a red, horned beast persecuting me. all of those moments happen when my seat belt is securely fastened and my tray is upright and locked into the seat in front of me.
seven years old: we are flying to my mother’s home in ohio. we are eating a hot meal on the plane (i know this is like an ancient fairy tale.), when, literally, out of the blue, the plane drops. the plane keeps dropping. people scream. the drink cart careens down the aisle. a stewardess (sue me, i’m being historically accurate.) does a somersault. cups of coffee and ginger ale soak suits. satan’s arrow finally finds air. it finds it hard. we smack down into it. coffee and ginger ale are sopped up with napkins. the stewardess gets up with perfect stewardess elegance and walks back to get the wayward cart. conversations return to a steady hum. i am forever scarred.
twenty-four years old: the dance company that i tour with is flying back from france to guadeloupe. i am stuck between two large people in the very last row. the bathroom is actually a little forward of me. tears stream down my face as every little cloud feels like a pothole. the tail of the plane, in which i am tucked away, bounces along with no regard for my terror. my dance teacher comes back every couple of hours to give me another valium. i want to eat them like candy. i feel the glares of the two large people, my bookends, on my face. i want to die. but, you know, not literally.
The only way to fly: a hazy, drugged cocoon.
twenty-seven years old: i am headed to the u.s. virgin islands. my boyfriend at the time has connections. we are in a small six-seater plane. the navigator is young, dumb, and full of stupid. he faces us. all of sudden we are in a storm cloud. the rain hammers out a death march on the aluminum foil body of the plane. the sky lights up with a flash and i feel my heart plop right out my butt. “we’re all going to die!” he screams. i scream then burst into tears. he laughs. i am never again able to look at a young marine with anything but loathing.
thirty-five years old: on a commuter jet from albuquerque to savannah, i am in a fitful, dramamine induced sleep. suddenly, i feel the plane nose-dive. i jolt awake. my hoodie covers half of my squooshed face. the big boy is next to me, gripping my hand. “is this normal? is this normal?” i ask him. he doesn’t answer. “who the HELL is driving this shit?” i yell. yep, i yell it. out loud. fifteen people turn in their seats to see the mussed hair and crazy eyes of this person disturbing their landing. two of the people in the plane who do not turn around are my sister and her girlfriend. they practically disappear into their seats and they roll up into teeny-tiny fists of horrified guilt by association.
thirty-six years old: we are flying to haiti for the holidays. the plane is large, almost roomy. however, it is packed. across the aisle is a seven year old screamer. he is one of those kids that is apparently momma’s little darling. he is wearing a suit with shiny shoes. he screams every five seconds like a swiss crafted timepiece. between swallowing back thoughts of my own fiery death, i plan his. i hate him with pure hatred. we are ten minutes away from landing. boom. we are in a storm. i get my yelling and screaming in public places honestly. the back twelve rows of the plane erupt in calls to their jesus, their mothers, and their hometowns. the plane shakes like those stupid carnival rides. you know the boxes hooked up to large rubber bands that are shaken in every direction for “fun”? the plane becomes a rubber banded box hurtling through storm clouds. out the window is only grey. inside is only a screaming mass of people. of course, being haitian, each scream is followed by a burst of laughter. “JEZI!” hahahahaha. “AMWE!” heeheeehee. the laughter makes it worse. i am rubber band box bouncing to my death with a mob of crazy people. we land, unharmed. even the five-second screamer escapes my death glares. applause erupts from the passengers.
then, last night: dramamine cannot be found in haiti, or at least not at the three places i tried before heading to the airport. the haze that it provides me is the fluffy duvet of denial i need to get through flights. without it, i start to inspect the faces of all the passengers who are boarding with me. i’m intent on memorizing the people with whom i will share my flaming fall from heaven death. no dramamine. it is with mounting apprehension that i walk down the neck of the gate into the belly of the beast. we are seated in the 22nd row. anything over 10 is trouble. we begin the taxi down the runway. i breathe deeply. having taught yoga, i know how to breathe. my eyes are closed and i am trying to get to my happy place. but, i can’t because i am trapped on this g.d. hunk of metal. we take off and so does my rationality. i start to cry. my face is a mask of terror. i shake so hard that my son has to hold my arm down. he is seated at the window because he loves to watch the ground slip away. he is apparently one of those “look death in the eyes” kind of people. jerk. i spend two hours panting, moaning, gripping the seat in front of me, and i am not having a good time. i loathe the screaming baby in front of me. it is partly jealousy. i want to scream, too. my son’s hand on my back is the only thing that prevents that. there is a kind haitian man sitting next to us who keeps asking my son if i’m alright. “she’s scared. she has a phobia.”
and there it is, in plain, plane english. i have a phobia. but, i don’t want treatment. you know how they treat fear of flying? by making you fly.
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