Sunday, February 19, 2017

E-Ticket To Anxiety

Rocket to the moon? No thanks, I'll just stay here. 

"So, tell me, little Jewish person, when was your first experience with anxiety?" Dr. Freida von Shrinkwrap asks.
"It happened at Disneyland," I tell her.
"Disneyland? The happiest place on earth?"
"It wasn't my happy place."
"Tell me more, my little kumquat of angst. I'm fascinated by the roots of your neurosis."

"Take me to your leader."

"Well, Dr. von Shrinkwrap, it happened on a ride called Rocket to the Moon. I was probably around five. So, it was 1963-ish. I remember sitting next to my mom in what looked to me like a real rocket. We were in the Passenger Chamber. They should've added 'of Horrors.' "
"You're saying it wasn't your cup of Schnapps?"

The Passenger Chamber of Horrors.
My version of hell, Disneyland edition.

"I could've used a nice sedative. The whole thing felt pretty ominous. There was a big round screen in the middle of the floor, showing images of Earth. There were scary space stewardesses. And then the announcer said it was time to Blast Off! Into Outer Space! The images on the screen in the floor kept changing to make it look like we were really lifting off, there was a countdown, the whole thing, and I was a total wreck, a complete basket case. I kept saying to my mommy,  'Are we really going to the Moon? I'm scared. I don't wanna go!' And she did her best to reassure me. 'No, sweetie, it's just a ride.' But the evidence all around me proved otherwise. It was all right there, the sounds, the images of Earth getting smaller and smaller. It was the first time I really wanted to bolt, but I couldn't, it was too late, because we were on our way to the Moon, for eff's sake. We'd already left! I was terrified, Dr. von Shrinkwrap. My heart was pounding in my little chest, I could barely breathe. I had sweaty palms. High Anxiety! You win."
"What was the main thing you learned from the experience?"
"Even then, I knew I wasn't astronaut material, and clearly, NASA knew it, too."
"How did Nasa know such a thing?"
"Well, they never tried to recruit me."

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