Fear of flying…it’s no metaphor

In the opening chapter of Jong’s book, we find our heroine at odds with herself and the new wave of feminism. As she sorts out what to do to fulfill her sexual fantasies outside of her marriage the reader is exposed to the dawning feminism of the times.

For me, the fear of flying is no metaphor. It’s an absolute truth founded in an inaugural flight from Dallas to San Antonio, Texas. I was 14 years old. The anticipation of my first time to fly in an airplane was overwhelmingly exciting. One, I had never flown in an airplane before; and two, I had never been to San Antonio. So it was double the fun and excitement.

Anticipating the trip I think I probably packed a week in advance. Carefully laying out my clothes and shoes for each outfit. Not forgetting a sweater because my grandmother had reminded me of a previous car trip where the humidity on the river walk caused the windows of the air-conditioned restaurant to sweat and me to freeze to death!

I was stoked!

But as Mother Nature would have it a storm was between us and our destination. The term ‘Turbulent Flight’ would be an understatement. It was bloody awful. And a Bloody Mary would have been just what the doctor ordered had I been an adult.

As I watched the lady’s drink across the aisle I saw an amazing demonstration in the law of physics! While gravity took with it the cup sitting on the tray table…the ice and the liquid remained momentarily suspended until it caught up and sloshed in the glass. Leaving a bright red spray all over the woman, the seat in front of her and me! in it’s wake.

In addition to the lady’s drink, my stomach also remained momentarily suspended. I almost puked from the gravitational pull. In a word it was awful.

Today I succumb to a variety of pre-flight measures to ensure I don’t climb the walls of the cabin or hurl. First there is a healthy dose Dramamine. Followed by self-medication of about a pitcher of Bloody Mary’s in the local airport bar. And then…if it’s timed just right, before I pass out into a coma, I might let you drag me onto that flight!

The spark of anxiety that was ignited from that first flight haunts me still. Unfortunately, air travel for me is a necessary evil. I absolutely hate to fly. Why fly when you can ride or drive? IDK.

But I do it because life just cannot be filled with fears of flying.

My only prayer is that when my ship comes in…I won’t be stuck at the damn airport!

Fearfully flyingly yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎

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