Landing Gear and Unnecessary Fear

Awake, he hears the pilot announce the airplane is beginning to descend. He has flown before. In fact, he has flown many times, usually 10 flights a year on average. He knows how to handle the TSA and which security lines to jump in. Never get in line behind a family, kids or frilly dressed women. Always pick the line with the most suits and briefcases. Avoid infants at all costs and don’t forget, having your goodies X-rayed is a part of the experience.
He’s asleep again and the plane has been descending for a while now. He awakes not knowing how soon the plane will land, slept through the announcement. He always sleeps through that stuff. He doesn’t mind though. He has a sixth sense of when the time is approaching. A cranking hum audible over the engine under the wing outside his window woke him. There’s a baby with a viral laugh a few rows behind him. He doesn’t mind that either.
He always tries to get a window seat. Usually the wing ruins the view or the window is too far forward or backward. He doesn’t mind though because small bladders won’t climb over him to rush to the restroom and he can sleep uninterrupted, until it is the time. Sleeping on flights is something he’s good at.
The brake flaps on the wing are out. The landing gear is down. He always knows when it’s the time because it makes quite a commotion. Maybe that’s what makes him nervous. Maybe it’s the commotion, or perhaps it’s the idea of a fiery crash and imminent death that scares him. He also worries when he feels the tail of the bird swing too and fro like a shark’s tail. That’s when he is most certain it will be his last flight. It never is though. He doesn’t mind that either.
The time has come three times on the way to his destination– Rome. Once in Phoenix, again in New York, then in Madrid. Too and fro, back and forth he felt the tail pendulum. He makes sure to note where each emergency exit is, how to best reach the life jacket under his seat and who he might have to race for a space in the living.
Soon the time will come again. That familiar droning that marks the lowering of landing gear is unmistakable. If it was up to him, they’d keep flying. He always wanted to have flying super powers. He dreamed of soaring over cityscapes and ant people on the pavement. Everyone would look up at him in wonder and they’d say things like, “Look mom it’s him! I want to be like him when I grow up”. He wouldn’t mind the publicity and fame, or the time even. He doesn’t mind the time in his dreams because he takes off like a hummingbird and lands like Russian olympic figure skaters.

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2 Responses to Landing Gear and Unnecessary Fear

  1. That is Mr E to you! says:

    Thanks for the laugh. Glad to see you living large!

  2. The Voice says:

    Like poetry. How we are each heading from place to place, but why in a hurry? The real question is who takes the time to smell the roses and keep the child like reverence for life and faith.

    Many people cross the path of our lives, but only friends and family leave foot prints.

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