This is the first trip I’ve flown to since starting my blog. I used to love flying—the vertigo of the take-off, the look of clouds from the inside, the cranberry juice (morning flights) and ginger ale (afternoon and evening flights), the patchwork earth viewed from above, the rapid deceleration on landing. In recent years, however, I’ve become a worse flyer. I don’t think it’s related to 9-11, although we were on the east coast at the time and had to fly through
I decided after that experience, though, that I needed to change something. The stress hormones pouring into my system weren’t doing anyone any good. Either I needed to get over my fears, or I needed to not fly anymore.
Not fly? Okay . . . take a boat to
I can, however, still be uncomfortable. There are no direct flights from
We were in middle and window seats, and the middle-aged gent in the aisle looked askance at me when I said we were in his row. As soon as we were seated, he fell asleep. Relatively soon after that, Ian fell asleep. I drank an entire can of cranberry juice, and slowly realized that sleep was not in the cards for me. I started to have to pee. Then it was well-established, but Ian and the man slumbered on. We hit some small patches of turbulence but I barely even noticed. I had to pee worse and worse. Finally, we were only about 30 minutes out. Then 20, then 10 and we’d started our descent. That’s it, I was stuck now. I pulled out the United airline magazine, Hemispheres, and started doing the crossword. I wished there was enough room to sit on my heel, as I used to do in the car riding home from Renton (about 20 minutes from our house) when I was little and Mom wouldn’t stop somewhere for me. “Sit on your heel,” she’d say, and I’d forget my need by the time we got home. But we all know that airline seats don’t allow for any maneuvering at all, let alone a maneuver that involves sitting on one’s heel. Ian woke up and started talking to me. I tried to ignore him and focus on the crossword, which was easy enough to be distracting. He persisted; finally I said “Look. I really have to pee. All I can do is the crossword right now. Oh, but when we arrive, could you bend down and pull my back pack from under the seat in front of me?” I remembered the last time I had had to pee so bad—it was at a movie, one with Goldie Hawn as a witch, I think, and I kept thinking it was almost over (well, it should’ve been) so I didn’t bother to get up and leave, and by the time it was finally over, I had to pee so bad I couldn’t even stand up straight as I rushed to the bathroom. Now, I sat clenched and wondered if I would have to buy pants at the