Conquering My Fear

By the time you read this, I’ll be gone. At about 4am, I left for Wisconsin. For the first time in nine years, I am taking to the air, and I am conquering my fear.

I am not afraid of Wisconsin. Cows, cheese, Green Bay Packers, all good. It’s not the state.

It’s my first professional conference in about 15 years. I’ll learn some things and get free pens. I’m not afraid of conferences.

I’ll be off-line for three days. I’m not taking any electronic devices except for my e-reader. No email, no Twitter, no WordPress. No pressure. I’m not afraid to unplug.

I’m not afraid to fly. There is nothing better than taxiing down the runway and feeling the earth fall out from beneath my feet. There is no fear, only exhilaration.

I’m afraid of TSA. I don’t like being told what to do, especially by an organization drunk on its own power. I don’t know all of the regulations, and I know from an experience last year that sometimes airlines make stuff up as they go along. The airline itself charges $25 to check a bag. That’s $50 round trip. To check a bag.

I am allowed one carry-on, but if I put the wrong thing in it, I’ll have to check it. Guess who doesn’t want to spend the next two days shopping for shampoos and conditioners in exacting three ounce containers? In the interests of time, I will forgo personal hygiene altogether.

Hairbrush is okay, right? What about a cup of coffee? Is toothpaste considered a liquid? I’d like to have clean teeth and minty fresh breath, but I can skip if necessary. I hate all these rules. I don’t like the total loss of control. Anyone at any given time can choose to do a pat-and-probe or search my things, and there’s not a thing I can do about it. It doesn’t seem quite fair.

What if they go through my bag and steal my stuff? I’d kill over my Severus Snape t-shirt, you know. What if I have to kill over my Severus Snape t-shirt and I go to jail forever and without my guidance my children become pole-dancers? What if my imagination runs away with me and never comes back?

But the real issue is this:  I didn’t lose enough weight to be happy about passing through the nekkid scan. Ten pounds lighter, and they’d have to beg me to leave. And to please, for heaven’s sake, stop that dancing. But for now, I must do the suck-in-and-run.

Flying friendly skies? As if.