LEAVING ON A JET PLANE
I really fucking hate flying. There is no part of my body that agrees with it. Apart from my brain being terrified of the destruction that 85 tons of metal with 35,000 lbs of aviation fuel could cause to me should it collide impolitely with ... erm... anything whatsoever, it also hurts every single part of my body. If I don't have cramp, I have a headache, or my knee hurts or my temple pulsates uncontrollably.
To add to my pain, I also have a tremendous and purely irrational fear of heights that I feel when I'm ascending rapidly at 400mph away from the Earth, I need to focus my attention on something else in order to deal with this problem. My attention is usually distracted by focuses in the corner of my eye of my compadres observing the novelty of how frightened I am. This is somewhat the start of an endless fear, coupled with annoyance and distraction that I just don't need, when all I am trying to do is not be frightened
That is before I get onto the uncomfortable seats, the cramped leg room & the breathing in of regurgitated farts.
Today, I got on a plane for the first time in ages. I had considered trains and boats to get me to my Eastern European destination but this was by far the cheapest means in the end. All these memories of air travel came flooding back to me. I had to sit in an airport departure lounge yesterday. These places only cater for one kind of person - the kind of person who enjoys buying booze, coffee, perfume & sunglasses. They should cater for more than that... how about they give you a library? It would be great. You could sit and look up something - after all they have taken away all of your liberties.
I have been arrested several times and my review of both experiences is that they are very much similar. Apart from that spending time in an airport will teach you no lessons of morality
I'd like to leave you thinking that I meant by that being arrested & charged by policemen taught you a lesson of morality but at least if you are stuck in an airport departure lounge, then you have probably brought that punishment upon yourself!
So as I was leaving the tarmac today, whilst trying to ignore the shooting pains, the falling sensations of the plane, the piercing stares from my friends, the feeling of wanting to vomit through fear and the oncoming panic attack, whilst perfecting the ‘I'm trying not to look weird, although I feel I am’ look, coupled with the fact I am 6 ft 2 and my head and shoulders stick up above every single short-arsed man, woman & beast on this plane, and that I am 6 ft 2 and nobody thought to cater for a place for my legs to go... thinking about hotels in Paris & the lady who did the safety announcement made no sense & kept receding to when I'm ‘outside the plane’ and ‘in the water’. I don't want to go outside the plane or in the water. I want to go to Prague. That's why I bought the ticket. If at any point on the journey I ended up outside the plane or in the water, I'd be demanding a refund... and even then if I had to blow my own life jacket up via a curly straw then I'd be writing to John Stapleford and his nosey wife at Watchdog.
Anyway, we left the ground and the same song runs though my head. It's a beautiful, romantic song about air travel. The first time I ever became aware of this song was when I started learning guitar when I was 12 years old. It was the first song my guitar teacher taught me (yes I know it is hard to believe I actually had lessons). It was this song that calmed me and soothed my fears with its exceptional, simple lyrics. Then I remembered - John Denver died in a plane crash.
Latest gig details here.