How I Overcame my Fears (of flying)

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Here I was about to die & at least 4 people still needed me to cuss them out but I couldn’t.  I was furious.

My mind is going a million miles an hour. I shouldn’t have been so damn cheap. I should have taken the train. I’m about to lose my life over a measly $175. I’m the biggest fool. I’m about to die. I start thinking about all sorts of stuff. People I cared about but didn’t tell them. People I could’t stand but I couldn’t tell them. I’m shaking my head. What a waste….

In Japan there are multiple domestic airlines that offer really cheap flights. One such airline is Peach Air. I had landed in Tokyo from America but a week later I was to be in Osaka. The bullet train rate between the two cities was a two hundred dollars and about three hours travel time. The flight in about 45 minutes and I believe Peach Airlines was selling tickets for around $25 at the time. So I booked the flight.

Peach Airlines is a budget airlines in all ways. I can’t speak on how they are now, but when I flew with them in 2015, the seats were not very comfortable, there was no entertainment and no snack service. Imagine taking a public city bus but you’re in the air. That was Peach. 

Anyways, I board the plane and I’m trying to calm my nerves as usual. I have a window seat. The plane is crowded and the seats are narrow so I am pushed up against the wall. The takeoff sequence happens and the plane seems to have difficulty reaching cruising altitude. It does this hiccup like motion as we ascend. You know how you hit turbulence and the plane will dip? Your stomach feel like it’s about to fall out of you. That’s what happening at take off! Its like we go up, then drop, then up, then drop. Then I notice I can hear and feel all the mechanics of the place. The engines are loud. So loud it sounds problematic. The window I’m looking out of seems just as thick as the passenger window of a Honda Civic. Compared to the massive Airbus I took from California to Tokyo, I might as well be on a hang glider. This plane feels so flimsy. I’m starting to shift about in my seat. I know something is wrong.

We finally reach cruising altitude and every three minutes there are multiple hiccups. My stomach is turning. The engines are still howling. The pilot suddenly decides to bank right really hard without warning. More dips. My head is spinning and my chest feels tight. Then it hits me. We’re going down. I’m going to die. Today is my last day. 

Did I accomplish everything I wanted to in life? No. Dammit. I’m a failure. I could have done so much more. It’s too quiet on this plane. And why isn’t the captain saying anything? Where’s the flight attendant? Don’t they know we are going to die? This is disgraceful. These people don’t even have the decency to try and calm us down. Maybe it’s a Japanese thing. 

I pull out my notepad and start writing. Maybe someone will find this and give it to my family. I write a crappy eulogy for myself. Then I start sketching. I figure If I’m going to die, I’m going to die as an artist. I keep drawing. Page after page. The drawings are wild, as one would expect from a man in this state of mind. After about 15 minutes I stop drawing. And I realize something. I’m on my way to visit Osaka and we’re still in the air. I think we’re going to make it. I become very sure we’re going to make it. And if I’m wrong and I die in an attempt at doing something I truly wanted to do, I will have died honorably. Everything goes silent. I’m completely calm.

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