I have always been really terrified of airplanes. I’m not talking about a fear of flying “in” an airplane (which I also suffer from), but an actual fear of them flying…up there. A million tons of steel magically floating above my head and ready to fall on me at any second.
Really, this fear started when I was a very little girl watching a WWII movie involving airplanes dropping bombs on people’s homes. One minute a little boy was outside playing and the next…Kaboom…his family and his home were gone.
I used to have nightmares about these bombers and would become filled with terror and anxiety any time I heard an airplane overhead. My loving mother tried her best to cure me of this phobia, though, and would yell, “oh my God, it’s the bombers, it’s the bombers!!” whenever an airplane would fly over our house.
Needless to say, the fear followed me into adulthood.
So, anyway…One night, a few years ago, I was out in my backyard stargazing. I looked out onto the horizon and I saw Orion’s Belt. You know, the constellation with the predominant row of 3 stars forming the belt. I turned away for a moment, and when I glanced back, I saw that Orion’s Belt seemed to be getting closer and closer. Suddenly, I realized that it was NOT Orion’s Belt at all, but was instead the lights of a really big airplane heading towards me.
Knowing that the plane was destined to crash into my house (it was REALLY LOW), the terror set in. My daughter and my partner were sound asleep in the house, totally oblivious to the impending disaster. What should I do?! Should I try to run into the house and warn them? There was no time for that, I decided. I must survive so that I could have a chance to save them after the crash.
I ran and hid behind my car that was parked in the yard as the airplane roared overhead. I could see the lights in the windows of the plane and was deafened by the roar of the engines. As the airplane continued safely on its way, I was struck by my tremendous feat of bravery and quick-thinking in my plan to “save” my family. Of course they didn’t see it that way at all when I told them of the event the next morning.
After the terror finally wore off, all I could do was imagine what the people in the airplane must have thought when they saw me (it REALLY was THAT CLOSE, I swear!) running in terror and hiding behind my car (as though that would have really saved me). I wonder if they tell a story of this event to their friends and loved ones too – about some crazy lady they saw from an airplane one night.