That’s right. Yours truly is terrified of flying. Along with the basic fear of, “We’re all going to DIE!” is the fact that I have never felt that someone of my size and stature should be permitted to hover above the ground and barrel through the air at speeds usually reserved for time travel. And quite frankly, if God wanted me to be able to fly, he would have given me a hot angel, preferably in the form of porn star Roman Heart, to ride upon.
Regretfully, my angel came in the form of a puddle jumper provided by an airline that sounds a lot like UNITED. So there I was trapped on this coffin with wings thoroughly convinced that we were going to crash or that I would have a heart attack. And as you probably know, if you’re as neurotic as I, a series of events usually occur as this darkest of hours. Your life flashes in front of your eyes (I was a happy child, a rebellious teenager, and an emotionally volatile adult. I know. Surprising isn’t it?). Then you find yourself drowning in your own personal sea of regrets (I should have finished school, I should have planned better for my future, and why did I sleep with him or him or him or him?). And of course no act of contrition if complete with out the obligatory, “Good Lord, if you get my big ass safely back on the ground, I promise I will be a better person and do all those things I’m supposed to do.”
Somehow someone somewhere heard my plea because I did in fact land safely with nary a hair out of place. Thankfully I would be around for many, many years to keep my promise to the Almighty, whoever he or she may be.
Though I’m sometimes petty, bilious, and occasionally ridiculous (ahem) I do believe in keeping one’s word. So, in order to not get struck down by lightning at the next possible opportunity, in front of God, his followers, non-followers, and for the three people who read my column every month, I make the following public vows…
I will try my hardest to remember that life is a gift to be treasured and to not waste a single second of it wondering if I could have, would have, or should have done something better or different. I will embrace my journey with an open heart and an open mind with all the appreciation I can muster. And I will do so in a less bitchy manner than I’ve managed to thus far. Maybe.
I will learn to count to ten and take a breath before I react to people or things that I don’t quite understand or favor. Okay, realistically I should probably count to a hundred and have an inhaler on hand. But I will learn patience, even if I have to beat the hell out of someone to do it.
I will love my friends unconditionally and without exception. Even when they’re stupid.
I will be more appreciative of my family and focus on the positive aspects of our various relationships rather than the therapy bills they have bestowed upon me.
I will stop being so critical of the members of my own tribe, the dear and diverse GLBT community and remember that strength is in numbers. And I don’t just mean phone numbers.
I will no longer take my physical well being for granted. I will eat well and exercise more and perhaps I’ll even find out their names this time.
I will no longer take my emotional well being for granted, either. I will continue to speak my mind and rid my spirit of negative thoughts and feelings, most likely in this column. My apologies in advance.
And finally, dear readers, the next time I find myself in some sort of semi-precarious situation (real or imagined) perhaps I won’t turn into such a pussy and make promises I can’t possibly keep.
Title Inspired By the Song: "Come Next Monday"
Artist: K.T. Oslin
Available On: Greatest Hits: Songs From an Aging Sex Bomb
Originally published in the February 2009 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.