The only reason I can give for the title of this post is a recurring thought I have when entering any structure that is higher than a leaping distance from the ground. Saturday was one of them, and you already know what I was thinking while looking down from 630 feet. A few months ago while flying from Lagos to London, similar thoughts entered my head at some point during the long flight, and from London to Boston. What are my chances of survival from this height of over 60,000 feet? There is a kind of surrender that inevitably accompanies a decision to take a plane flight. Our lives are in the hands of the pilot whom we never ever get to see.
About two and a half weeks ago, there was a major news item about a pilot on the London-Boston route who was caught drunk just before take-off. Just two and a half weeks ago! The plane was grounded and the passengers resettled into another plane. Sigh. I mean, it could have been any of the planes that I have been in. And what are the chances that the pilot of my plane from London to Boston wasn’t equally drunk? Come to think about it, I kinda felt the plane shake and wobble one too many times during the flight. Or not. Well, one of the reasons Maya Angelou gave when she came to Edwardsville in October for buying her travel bus instead of travelling on a plane was a plane trip of hers in which the pilot, just a few seconds after take-off – even before the plane reached cruising altitude – came out of his cockpit and meet and greet “the distinguished Maya Angelou” who he had learnt was on board. Ha! According to her, she knew then that it was time to change tactics before someone got hurt from the effect of her star power. Those were not her exact words.
I can say also that one of the reasons for my choice of writing as a hobby, pastime, vocation or whatever one can call it is – not really a fear but – a preemptive strike against the eventuality of death. And no, I’m not depressed at the moment. Not even as bored as I might like to think. I’m just taking liberty with my ability to imagine.