I learnt a lot about myself today, whilst sitting terrified next to the man I had decided was going to kill me. On a plane I had predicted would plummet to earth full of empty bodies, leaving their empty minds and thoughts straddling the clouds. In a seat I had set the fortune for; to burn with my carcass over Portugal, or France. I’d chosen the role of the innocent man who sat peacefully next to me, ordering a sandwich and some wine (the last supper). I learnt a lot about myself today.
As I sat painfully alert, against my best efforts, I tried to decide what exactly I was scared of. Was it the death, the pain, what I left behind? I spent each suffocating moment focusing in on each suggestion and yet, walking off that plane, body intact, mind not so much, I was none the wiser. I was scared of being scared of something that didn’t exist. So, does that make my fear impossible?
Unable to keep up with my heart beat, I dragged behind in constant fear of a pain I wouldn’t feel. A death I wouldn’t hear on the news. A body I wouldn’t have to piece together and bag up. I was scared of what I’ve been taught to be scared of. The Other. The terrorist. The man I had chosen as my murderer. A man who watched Kill Bill 2 on his laptop because it was his favourite film (or his last). A man who went to the toilet to smoke his e-cigarette secretly (to prepare and detonate). A man who dropped his coins and then apologised for disturbing me as I picked them up (and pictured him splitting and splattering my body into unidentifiable pieces across the walls of the plane). A man who wasn’t any threat and yet one I’ve been taught to fear.
I learnt a lot about myself today.