Airplanes, the worst of me, and the best of others

I have a developed a technique for overcoming my fear of airplanes. I look at the laughing children. I look the elderly. I look at the lovers and the loved ones. I conclude that no good force would allow this plane to fall, not even as a punishment for my inherent evilness.
I conclude that even if the plane did fall, I would grieve the people who had more to lose than myself.

Maybe what I fear isn’t the physical part of flying, but the memories I have in airplanes. It seems every crucial moment in my life involved leaving someone or something.
I remember the tears that forced themselves out of the face I held calm, as I left home back to college. I pretended to be sick and asked my older brother to stop at a clinic on our way to the airport. I wished they would say I had cancer, so that I could quit school and stay home without feeling like a failure.
I remember the interview with the big company. I remember saying to myself as they showed us around their building: “If everything I’ve been through was the price to get here, then I’ll gladly accept it.” The captain flew over the city and away, and my final share of that place was seeing it from afar. Nothing professional about a man with a crumbled suit and crushed pride.

But, for what it’s worth, I’ve never cried over the same cause twice. Leaving familiar places get less upsetting after a while. This is what the optimistic would call grit and perseverance. I think that’s exactly what I fear; not death, but the loss of life. With every flight I take, part of me is lost. The unfortunate way to become strong is to leave the weaker parts behind forever.

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A day to remember: after 12AM

The first girl that I knew on a personal level had her first baby this year. We were around 7. She used to invite me to play. Her mom welcomed me, and her dad was rarely around.

I was reminded of another girl recently as well. Our mutual friends tried often to “recommend” us to each other, but she didn’t seem interested and I didn’t change anything. I learned later that she was actually interested in my older brother.
I was asleep, and I was awakened by her voice outside my door. She has been married for a few years now. She was asking her 2 year old son: “Do you want to call daddy?”

Her younger sister, all I remembered about her is that she always asked me questions and always listened while looking me in the eye.

Here we are today: the older isn’t married to my brother, and I am engaged to the younger sister.

There’s also Claire. The first time I was ready, and the first time I envisioned a future and a family of my own.

I don’t know why I find it appropriate or relevant to talk about girls on my birthday. Probably because I will most likely be married by my next birthday.

I don’t know why everyone else around my age is having kids, or getting married in the first place. My grandmother a few days ago was asking me to hurry and get married. She was suggesting that it should definitely be no later than next summer.

She is the only one of my grandparents remaining.

Her husband, who I hated after his death, died a long painful death. It was a medical error, and his leg had to be cut. I visited him. He was on a bed, he was saying in a very low voice: “I’m thirsty, give me water.” My grandmother explained it was against what the doctors said. He had to be given small quantities because of something in this throat, I think. Then, He said that it was too hot, and he asked me to lower the degree on the thermostat. My grandmother waved for me not to do it, and she also explained that it was for his health. She asked me to pretend I was doing it, but I didn’t pretend. He was still awake, and if I pretended to lower the thermostat he would notice and think I was treating him like a child. I couldn’t do it to him.

My other two grandparents had alzheimer since I was a child until they died. I remember they gave me candy every time I visited. The only interaction I remember, is that my grandmother, my father, and I were sitting in her room. My father teased me by saying I should close my open mouth or I’ll swallow a fly. She hugged me and said that I was her grandson and that it would be my father who will swallow a fly.

I see my place within this family, and among us all I cannot find a happy person. Every time I meet them, I stare in their eyes. I know that everyone can smile, but no one can hide misery from their eyes. I don’t know if happiness doesn’t exist, of if it means much less than I hoped.

But at the very least, happiness should be whatever is enough to justify the costs of living. I have no justification, and I lived only because as a human, or as an animal, I fear death. I lived for no reason, and next year I’ll marry for no reason.

It’s depressing to know that after 24 years of living I am either ignorant or knowing of a very unpleasant truth.