Godmama Says…
a buncha stuff.

take-offs and landings

Do you know what a flyover is?   It’s that overpass on the highway that goes over the other overpasses.

I have a problem driving on flyovers.   Well, not so much a “problem”,  but it is definitely a series of odd thought processes that happen when I’m up in the air.   My brain doesn’t understand how it’s possible to suddenly be driving at such a high altitude, and the road is usually tilted slightly at the highest points so you can see down when you look left.  It’s like when an airplane makes a turn and you can see the ground out your window.  Well,  this position sends my skullmuscle into a series of very quick, vivid, and bizarre daydream sequences.

I imagine what would happen if the car rolled over that little two foot tall cement bumper which is the only barrier between me and the ground.   It’s not a feeling of panic, however.  I am 90% sure that won’t actually happen, but I can’t understand WHY it won’t happen… and so the visuals come.   I imagine what exactly I would do if the car rolled and started to free-fall onto the highway below.  I imagine all kinds of superhero stunt moves like being able to get out of the car and crawl onto whichever side was facing up before it hit the ground,  maybe even hop onto a moving semi just in time like something Will Smith’s stunt double would do.  I check to make sure my phone is close by,  so that I can call home and explain to Husband what just happened (after I have landed safely on the mack truck).   I think how cool it would be to get to miss work because I had just bodysurfed down the highway and should probably get a couple days bed-rest (Ever notice how they never need to recover from things like that in movies?  I would be needing a couple days off).   And then I think about all the expenses that would be incurred if any or all of that happened, and I know we couldn’t afford it.   Then I imagine that somebody somehow catches the whole thing on their cellphone camera,  which makes it’s way onto youtube and the news,  and the entire event makes me a temporary celebrity.  Surely in that case the expenses would be covered.  Oprah would take care of it.  Or at the very least my friends in NYC would do a benefit concert for me.

I also imagine what would happen if things didn’t go quite so well and I died.   What would be my last thought?  Would I want it to be quick? Or would I want to still make that call home first?  Do I like what I’m wearing right now?  Does everybody know what kind of funeral I want?  Who would show up? Would anybody else be killed? … and would the ghosts of those people follow me around the afterlife bitching that they were on their way somewhere important that day and I messed it all up?

I also always wonder if I’m pregnant, and think how much it would suck to finally be pregnant only to get thrown off a 10 story high bridge into traffic.  I think in that case I’d survive, and then I’d name the kid something stupid like Lucky.

All of these things go through my head in the 60 seconds or less it takes to get across one of these things.   Every single time.   They make them pretty big (and often) here in Texas so there’s a lot of driving way up in the air.   It’s similar to the way I feel when I’m flying.  I love to fly, but during the first part of take-off when the ground is still plainly visible my brain creates those “you’re gonna fall and here’s what that’s gonna be like” scenarios for a minute… And then I go “Oooh! Pretty clouds!” and I’m fine… until it’s time to land and the ground gets too close too fast and I get visually confused again.

I talked about this mental phenomenon with Husband and I was pretty adamant that this is not actually a “fear” thing, just confusion.  My brain doesn’t understand how it is physically possible for me to be doing what I’m doing, so it wants me to prepare to fall.  Intellectually, I get that there is all kids of genius engineering that happens when people make bridges and build airplanes,  and even when part of my mind is thinking how pretty the view might be from up high, the other part wonders if my affairs are in order or if Oprah will sponsor my physical therapy.   I mean, I don’t avoid these parts of the highway (You can’t, really.  Not in this state) and I don’t dread them when I see them coming.  It’s just this automatic program that my head runs once I’m up there.   Is that fear?  I don’t know.  It’s kinda cool, I think. It keeps me in check and makes me grateful for stuff… and repeatedly impressed with engineers and cars and bridges and planes.

I now want to make all this into a metaphor for my life right now.  Something about being at an exciting point in the journey and how new things are the scary things because you have no mental reference point for them and you can’t really be sure what’s on the next page so that makes you imagine all kinds of silly extreme crap.  That’s what I want to do… but I think I’ll go highway driving instead.

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3 Responses to “take-offs and landings”

  1. I love the way your brain works, Maya!

  2. Making peace with dying every time a flight takes off and having an escape route mapped out in the event of accidents, earthquakes, tornados, train derailments- It’s comforting to know these thought patterns exist in other people’s brains


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