A Healthy Fear of Flight

I jumped out of an airplane once.

Why not? I had fresh pocket-loads of dough from selling freeze dry alien turds to hugely appreciative festival goers. And now it was time to blow my own mind.

I had a friend who jumped pretty regularly — as often as an enthusiast may snowboard or scream too fast near dawn down the coast highway on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Like a hobby.

I got wicked stoned with my skydiver friend one night. He popped in a video of people free falling. Very much in flight. Mid-air high fives & all.

DUDE! I exclaimed, Can ya smoke it??

What, he asked, like get stoned before you jump?

Sure. I’d love to know what happens when you put a roast on right before you do that mid air high 5 wildness.

He said it slows the perception of time & speed. Helps one make the most of the 60 second-long free fall experience. I related; when I would snowboard stoned it often feels like I’m cruising over Velcro. Even though I am dive bomb torpedoing down the mountain faster than a sonic-bound stolen rollercoaster. Faster than I’ve ever been. It just feels all slowed down.

Ah yes. Total control now.

“DUDE!!” I demanded. “How bout when yer shroomin?!”

Dude looked at me like I was crazy. Like his friends & him at the Drop Zone don’t tangle much with the shroomage before they jump out of airplanes.

Wonder what their Problem is?

Turns out that when you jump from an airplane at 13,000 feet you might not even need drugs — and I would never suggest such a thing carelessly. Fact is that you wouldn’t even notice whatever you were on. The added stimuli would, by my estimate, prove superfluous. Futile even.

The sensation I experienced after I jumped was the very closest I have ever brushed against the edge of the sensory overload envelope. I had no idea what the fuck was going on. Until, maybe 40 or so seconds into my minute of free fall, I remembered that I’d recently jumped from an airplane.

Remembered to breathe is more like it. Suddenly I gained mental faculties enough to look at my altimeter. Fifteen seconds later I pulled the cord. That’s all I remember. It was literally the fastest — most furiously fast — 60 seconds of my life.

Time flies when you fly.

I can’t say for sure whether I enjoyed the experience. I’m only certain that I just plumb didn’t know what the fuck. They say you can learn to pay attention better, to pull back, a bit, from the epicenter of that sensory overload envelope. Slow time down a bit, with your mind, as you fly through mid air. Take a moment to high 5 a friend who happens to whoosh by!

Probably helps to smoke a little weed.

Next time maybe.

I’d do it again, and here’s why: I do not fear easily. But fear is a quality emotion. Helps with the survival thing. Makes the toes tingle. I love to deliberately fear for my life: It’s one good way to Feel Alive!

And boy. I say: The plane ride up was very scary. I had an altemeter strapped to my wrist. The needle climbed. The plane climbed. 4,000 feet. Nowhere near the top. 4,500 feet. How long is this flight? I wondered but didn’t ask. I didn’t dare. Didn’t need to know.

It hardly mattered.

Once you’re on that plane you are committed to leap through the exit door when we hit 13,000 feet. Time slows straight the fuck down. Crawls like Vegemite down a water slide; quite the opposite of time’s impossibly rapid passage when you’re in the middle of a free fall.

On the way up a certain amount of time remains; the time it will take the plane to climb to its’ “destination” of 13,000 feet. The time that remains between now and when you have no way to know whether you will live or die.

Real time I suppose. An inescapable reminder of life’s brevity. Cold scary.

I’d do it again for the fear. Frikkin giddily!!

That and because they sew wings on to skydiver’s shirts now. So you can do better mid air tricks. Pretty soon they won’t even need parachutes. Just swoop skyward a moment before you belly-dive into the ground; you’ll pop straight up, right your wings & land on your feet ideally.

Ideally. But not always. People will jump from airplanes with no parachute and land successfully. Others will die trying. More power to them.

That’s what daredevils are for!



Phoenix Fly has risen – Wingsuit Skydiving and BASE jumping


3 Responses to “A Healthy Fear of Flight”

  1. 1 Sporz March 20, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Death I would say is the most appropriate subject braket to coment on this about. When you jump from a plane, the only thing between you and certain end, is a paraschute. I don’t think that I will ever do somthing like that. I’m not being pompous, just matter-of-fact. I used to think about doing that, and I thought: “Hmmm, maby I am afraid of that, maby I have to buck up and get over that fear, because it looks fun” In all of lifes challanges I don’t need to add that in there. It is popular and has a “heroic” air to it. That sounds like a dope ass experience. But maby it’s kept at that. Maby I sound like a grandma because I don’t want to jump out of a plane, but, just catch a reverse and look carefully at the irony in my sentence. I am appologising for explaining that I don’t want to JUMP OUT OF A PLANE! I feel that the chilling reality of jumping out of a plane has been totally lost by todays gen X culture. Suicide. 😉
    I know that the system sucks, the colonial grid on mother nature sucks the spirit out of us ect.ect., existance these days is generally “wanting”, but candy coating my surrender and consequent death wish by JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE is not in my future (unless I’m forced to).

  2. 2 Sporz March 20, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    I forgot the main point in all of my bitching,: the “Healthy fear of flight” is exactly that. Healthy. Trust in your natural feelings about that… I’m sure doing it on alien turds would be interesting. I personally agree with you, the sensory blast would render innefective probably anything you take.. Anything.

  3. 3 absintheve April 1, 2007 at 12:23 am

    mike E. really this cracks me up….this is hilareous….I just remember being like wow he is really doing that he is outta his mind…..i cannot stop laughing….sorry..sending laughs with you….you are outta your mind….hahaha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: