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Sunday, January 08, 2006


The older he got, the more nervous he was about flying.
This didn't make much sense to him: it seemed to fly in the face of all other evidence. Which was exactly how he thought about planes these days. He had been a nervous child, granted. But as he grew in stature and age, so he also grew in confidence respectively. In all things, that is, except flying. He used to live in a faraway land when he was a boy; a land that, at that age, seemed all th emore exotic, and his young mind equated the travel with the adventure of that land.
So why, now, sat on the tarmac on a muggy London day, did his stomach clench and his palms perspire? Even the soothing Queen's English of the pilot failed to calm his nerves. And then he realised that was precisely it: the pilot. As a child he was happy to relinquish all control to this suave Englishman who seemed to know everything there was to know, as all adults surely did. But now he recognised far too much of himself in the piolt's voice; and suspected that he was in fact older than the pilot. And no longer did the pilot's voice seem to be one of authority, or control, or even calm. Chances were he was as hungover as the man, just trying to make it through another day's mundane work.
And all of a sudden, the man felt very ill indeed. But at least now, as a man, he had gin and tonic to deal with it.


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