Atomic Ned

music. pop culture. sports. babies.


Wake Up Screaming

“There is a line of thunderstorms coming in from the East. The captain has decided to fly through the line and climb above them rather than delay the takeoff.” That’s what the flight attendant said in my dream. I have a fear of flying. I’m not the kind of guy who needs sedatives to step onto a plane but I do get sweaty palms upon takeoff and landing and any mid-flight bumps that I might encounter. The thought of falling out of the sky terrifies me even though I know that I’m far more likely to die in a car accident on my way home from work than die in a plane crash. Still, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

The plane took off. I think I was leaving Texas and flying back to Ohio. I was able to see a radar shot of the line of storms and it looked pretty ominous. Once in the air, the pilot decided to stay beneath the clouds. It was a rocky start to the flight and I didn’t have a good feeling. I could see an approaching metropolis and knew that we were flying far too low to be flying into a major downtown area. The people in the seats around me were getting nervous and the flight attendants were rushing to their seats. Bump. Bump. Bump. We hit turbulence as we approached a group of skyscrapers. And then, my worst fear … the plane took a sharp nosedive, almost like a rollercoaster that has just dropped down its first hill. In my dream, I could see out the front window of the plane and could see the ground approaching far too quickly. Doing the only thing I could think to do, I braced myself for impact (What was I thinking? Like, putting my arms out and holding onto the seat in front of me would save my life?)

At the last minute, the pilot was able to pull the plane out of its freefall and we flew down a major throughway through this downtown area. But we weren’t out of the clear, there was definitely something wrong as we were tossed about the cabin, impact seeming inevitable. I grabbed the in-flight phone from the back of the seat in front of me and scrambled for my wallet so I could swipe my credit card and call my wife to say my last goodbye.

I woke up at this point. It was 5 am. I lay in bed, afraid to go back to sleep, afraid to go back to this dream. Eventually I did doze off but the haunting images of the dream are still in my head. I remember thinking, as we were freefalling, “Wow, I’ve only dreamed about this before but now it’s really happening.”

Moral of the story: Don’t eat spicy bean dip before going to bed.


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