I've always hated flying. Every time I board an airplane I envision dying in a crash. During college I developed such an irrational fear of flying that I subjected myself to a 27-hour train ride from New York to Florida. There's nothing like torture to make you brave enough to face your fear.
I've faced a fair amount of fear throughout the course of this leukemia saga, much of it quite rational. The odds have been crappy; death has been a statistically significant possibility. Can I still be afraid of of something like flying?
Yes, I can. My nephew's getting married in Washington, DC this weekend and I'm flying there tomorrow with my family. It's not that I'm worried about the plane going down. I'm afraid of being in a small space with a lot of strangers, breathing and re-breathing the communal air. My immune system may crash and burn.
Maybe I should wear a mask, the heavy-duty kind that simulates the sensation of being buried alive or smothered with a wet blanket. Maybe I'll bring a mask with me to the airport and whip it out if I feel threatened.
I'm probably over-reacting to the airplane thing. I mean, I'll be spending 24 hours or so inhaling the air in our nation's capital. Is there anything more toxic than that?