Scrooged and The 3 Spirits of Xmas Flying
C172 — N66213— Opa Locka > North Perry (third leg) — Night ops, Pilotage, Radio Nav, night Landing, Night Airport Ops — 0.3 hrs
Great flight. This leg was the last short hop to get back home to HWO, and wrap very fun evening.
"Twas the night (month) before Christmas..." But I got to thinking... Here I am flying at Xmas (close enough to it); Am I selfish?
I grinned with gluttonous gratification, looking down on all others from on high. I mean where else would I wanna be but in the wind, right? See, like Scrooge, I friggin hate Xmas. Call me cynical, but I hate the whole idea. The symbolism, and everything. Hate the commercialism. Hate the false push of "giving" when really it's merely buying and appeasing, and hoping not to forget and offend anyone. I hate the same incessant droning music year after monotonous year. I hate having to attend nauseating parties and social gatherings of all sorts, and putting on a smile out of some mysterious social obligation I never understand. Hate it all.
I just wanna be left alone and fly all the time. And why should I ever change? It's my hobby, and I'll enjoy it by myself if I have to (which works best anyway). Loneliness? Not a chance!! The price I pay for loneliness is small in comparison to the lunacy I often have to tolerate in the company of others. Many others.
But that night I restlessly tossed and turned trying to sleep. I got advice from a virtual friend saying I'm sinking and I should change my vertical attitude and angle of attack before it's too late. H said I would be visited by 3 ghosts with some kind of special flying lesson from each.
Huh. Right. This I gotta see.
Then the next day...
Whoosh, a ghost arrived with a crusty black-and-white rerun of Xmas 2002 where the instructor didn't believe I could land a plane with so little hours in my book. I could, and indeed I did land that plane just perfect. But I was alone in that victory, and was not able to share my flying triumph with anyone really. In theory my partner and I were studying flying together in general, but in practice it was not the real enjoyment you get from sharing flights together Hobbs hour by Hobbs hour in real-time.
But what ghostly lesson is to be imparted here? That I might suffer solitude and loneliness? Not me! I don't care if I'm alone. So be it! Better for the weight and balance anyway. People don't think I should follow such an extravagant hobby anyway on my poor-man's income; I should get serious and stop dreaming... well I'll show them, I'll continue to find ways to fly, and fly all alone if I have to. "Up, up, and away!" and "To infinity and beyond!" I say.
Whoosh, another ghost arrived with a split-screen display of how right now I'm here in Florida, and meanwhile my wife is home alone missing me, as I enjoy my 3-month aviation bootcamp. Huh. She really misses me? She seemed eager enough to kick me out of the house before I left... Why now? My wife doesn't even share my passion for aviation that I do, so she's home, end of story. What more can be done? It's not about my wife, it's about me! My adventure! I'm here basically having to redo the vast majority of my flight training from the ground up (literally), and that takes time. Not my fault. Hey, shit happens. Gotta be strong. She'll survive without me just fine. I gotta fly.
But ok; I get the lesson here... No, no, I get it... I resolved to spend more time with the wife, and also find others I could share my flying with. I'll change my vertical attitude and stop the sinking. No really, we can fix this. When I get back for sure! It's never too late, right? I thought "Shit, I'm having the weirdest day!"
Whoosh, another ghost arrived with a hazy 1/4-mile-visibility view of me in the near future of me doing the same thing again, abandoning everybody and my wife who's missing me, and me flying alone for months. Sharing only with my paid instructor (not the same feeling of sharing at all). There I am selfishly enjoying my Solo flights to here, there and everywhere, and not caring about a soul but myself. People, clients, friends, family, all missing me and in desperate need of my help getting used to the routine of my being 8000 miles away, not able to be there, not able help with anything, just gone. Brings all new meaning to the term "Solo."
Worse, off to one side is a YouTube video looping about an 80 year old woman with little/no flight training or capacity to fly, is forced to make a heroic landing in a twin engine to save herself and her family, when her husband has a heart attack and dies mid-air, leaving her alone forever, and ATC needs to talk her down or she and the whole family dies.
Well come on!! I mean that's almost fantasy fiction. That could never happen to me, right? My cholesterol is not that bad, and I've ALWAYS made the runway...
Not able to resist and hold them back any longer, the inevitable tears flowed from my face.
"I want to live!," I said, in rebellious snivelling. I protest this loathsome vision of such a brutal lonely demise... I wanna LIVE!!, I wanna SHARE!! I wanna LIVE and SHARE!!
But, alas, I revert, as I also wanna fly....
"For who can escape what they desire?"
So "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."