"So uh... is anyone... a nervous flyer?"
They all shook their heads and smiled. We stood crammed together into the back of the shuttle bus on our way to our terminal, everyone marveling at the planes sitting neatly lined up on the tarmac. Everyone but me. Our flight was leaving in an hour. Kingdom and Wrong Answer, off to shred across the world. As the shuttle neared our terminal, my stomach dropped like an anchor desperate to keep me on land.
Dear. God. Help me.
The first time I flew by myself I was 13. I started crying at takeoff. The longer the ride went on the more hysterical I became. At one point I had a small group of flight attendants around me, one asking me to quiet down because I was "scaring the other passengers", another cooing to me like I was a wailing infant she could lull to sleep, another feeding me statistics about flight safety. I was unreachable in my panic, moaning, "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!" and sobbing until we landed.
That experience could easily be any of my flight experiences. My fear of flight is an ageless thing- never easing, never wavering, never maturing. I will forever be a plane baby. And there I was again at the airport, whimpering inside.
Outside our gate, I thought about what it means to be straight edge. Everyone agrees that it covers drinking/smoking/drugs, some morons branch off to semi-religious-moral-right-wingedness and think it also somehow relates to sex blowing intelligent minds everywhere with its unrelatedness and stupidity, and finally there's the big grey area of "legal drugs." Over the years I've met kids who don't eat chocolate because of the trace amount of stimulants, I once met someone who refused anesthesia when he got his wisdom teeth pulled because he didn't think it was straight edge to have his consciousness altered... even for surgery. Personally I don't give a shit what lines other people draw around their sobriety. Your edge and its parameters are literally of 0 interest to me. I do however have a great interest in my own, and thar is what was on my mind as I paced outside of our gate holding 2 sleeping pills. Could I, should I drug myself for this flight?
In the end I did it, coddling myself like the baby I am. By the time we started boarding the plane I was really feeling it. I approached the ticketer so doped up I sounded like a talking pull-string toy with a dying battery ("yeesssss heerrrrreee iiiissssss mmmyyyy passsssppoooorrrttt") It didn't matter though, the panic came anyway. The tears started trickling as the ticketer said, "Enjoy your flight!", then I wept as we walked the long platform to the plane, I cried as we stored our luggage in the overhead compartments, and once in my seat, I sobbed. And then... a miracle. A fucking altered-conscious miracle. I fell asleep... and slept the entire flight. Thank you to my friend Anish who recommended that I take those pills- you saved my bandmates a lot of embarrassment and my tear ducts a lot of work.
If you'd know to know what happened after the plane landed, I'll be telling the stories day by day on Kingdom's blog.