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.



I return to you guilty and degraded, and I feel like an apology is due.

I have left you by choice, with a sense of superiority, and I return with my head hiding between my shoulders in an aura of shame.

My excuses are weak, and I ask humbly; I do not demand.

I beg you not to turn away your ungrateful child, even though you have the power and every right to do so.
You have accepted me when I wanted nothing but to leave you, please accept me when I want nothing but to pay you back.
Let this stranded soul find its place again.

I was once a nurtured tree, my top reaching the clouds, and my roots grounded firmly, and I have fallen trying to find a better place. I became an example of greed to you, and of wretchedness to the other gardens.

What have I learned in my little journey?
That the enormous universe feels so lonely without a place that accepts you unconditionally, where you belong as a fact.

The options are infinite, and I choose the sun that has always felt so hot, the air that has always felt so dry, and my little place there where my dry burnt skin belongs.