I was a little kid
the night before the first time
I was to board a plane.
I asked my mom
to describe what it felt like to fly.
Airports used to be safe spaces for me.
Maybe it was the extra-long security lines
and metal detectors
that gave me the sense
that no harm could come to me here.
Airports are the gateway to the world,
in a completely nonfigurative way.
Everywhere I could think of going
had an actual gateway
leading to a plane
that led to that place.
I loved taking one step on in LA
and getting to step off in Seattle.
(Lately, I haven’t thought of flying
as off to a new adventure
because I’m traveling more often out of need,
and if planes aren’t vehicles
bringing me to an exciting new adventure,
then airports are only well-gaurded buildings
serving overpriced coffee
and more overpriced beer.)
My mom wasn’t able to describe flying to me,
that night before my first flight.
She said, “I guess you’ll find out tomorrow.”
I suppose she couldn’t bring herself to tell me
that flying doesn’t feel like the magical feat it actually is.
Flying just feels like
any kind of man-made transportation
except, this time, there is no road
or attachment to Earth.
Wouldn’t it be surprising to find
that any fatal car accidents
happen when the vehicle is trying to park?
I never had a fear of flying.
Take-off nor turbulence have ever bothered me.
I still wouldn’t say I get scared.
Actually, I would choose flying
over any other kind of travel.
There’s the obvious advantage,
the convenience of not having to ride
on a boat for months
to maybe make it across the ocean,
and the fact that getting from LA to Seattle
only takes a couple of hours.
I would even go so far as to say
I love flying
for making the world feel accessible.
(I still don’t love overpriced airport beverages).
For some reason I can’t quite comprehend,
I’ve been noticing a new apprehension.
Just at the point where I should be thinking
“At last, we’ve finally made it”
It seems that instead I’ll find
I’m always a little more afraid to land.