Pretense: I'M GOING TO CANADA! En route right now.
Maybe someone can relate to this. I'm a nervous flyer. It's one of those fears where practice doesn't make perfect. This year alone I've flown around ten times. Last year I flew 14 hours over water to China, both ways. The fear lives on. The leather, the smell, the lighting, the super dry air, the people, those tiny tiny tiny windows that I know I couldn't fit through... While working in the steel industry and also through my engineering classes in school, I've learned a decent amount about various aerospace grade material, how it's completely 'safe', etc etc etc. blah blah blah. I don't care what kind of material is holding me, humans just weren't meant to be flying through air! The universe has gravity for a reason and we don't have wings for an even better reason. Anyway. Before I step into the gate I look out the airport windows and ---
It's a three-man-across little baby plane. A.k.a. let's go turbulence. I take a seat, plug in my music to some upbeat sounds, try to convince myself that I loooooove to fly. Lying to yourself is hard. But then a minute passes and I'm like dang I am getting good at pretending that I am so pumped! The music was flowing and my foot was tapping. Then we took off and and started catching air, it was pitch black and I was like wow the city just stops...I know it's a big city but where the 'burbs at...what kind of wilderness is literally just outside of Los Angeles...hey it's kind of creepy and mysterious! Must be the desert! (I love deserts) I'm taking pictures thinking it's so cool then I see the way the lights on the edge of said wilderness are in the shape of ---
The Coastline. And it's behind me.
All prior euphoric feelings I had tried so hard to gather vanished in a quick intake of air and my nerves took over full force. The lights were behind us and the ocean was in front of us, dead center. It wouldn't have phased me if I could feel the velocity of the turn to the right. But we kept going straight. And going and going.
Oh we were goners for sure. I'm supposed to be going straight north to Vancouver, why would there be a need to be over the span of the biggest body of water on the planet??? Right? Who is flying this plane, are they confused?! I chewed the flavor out of my gum in 1 second flat upon this discovery and felt like what's-her-name on Bridesmaids.
My anxiety was through the roof. The two foot max, designed to be light-weight, thick roof.
After what felt like thirty minutes (was probably four, tops), luckily for my heart and soul and fight-or-flight response levels, I saw little glimmers of gold floating 10,000 feet below. I thought to myself. Well, if we crash right here, at least someone on a rig or boat or whatever those are would likely be able to save me. I'm a pretty good swimmer. I felt immensely better with that flimsy thought...super sound logic... Ok and I have to be honest for a sec, my honest first thought was "HOLY COW A DIFFERENT PLANE ALREADY CRASHED AND THOSE ARE LIFEBOATS WITH SURVIVORS"...but anyway...I could breathe even easier when ten minutes later the gold specs turned into a gold line. The coast.
Thank the Lord!!!!
Minus the fact that it was literally a beacon of the promise of life (why is crashing on land more satisfying and safe than crashing on water...more of my sound logic...), it literally brought a smile to my face just by how beautiful it was. The ocean met the lights of civilization, juxtaposed with the black ghost of land that was the surrounding landscape on the other side of mountains and desert. The shape of the coast, with a glimmering line all the way up outlining the ins and outs of black water. Kind of like life. Sometimes the ins and outs are clearer than others. Lights shine a little brighter, sometimes they're not there at all. But eventually, the terrifying entity of ocean becomes a saving land mass.
Let Vancouver commence.
Ps. I can say with confidence there are still a few lights scattered here and there outside, below my window. Still not dangling over the ocean. Relief.