Home > From Swerve to Bend > Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

In one of the oldest buildings on an old college campus. A building hardly used these days. Musty and poorly lit. Inhabited by placid and contented ghosts. The hand-lettered sign taped to the door reads AA MEETING. Blake looks at his watch. 6:09. The meeting has already started. He shuffles his feet and thrusts his hands in his pockets. Uncertain. Maybe he could start next week since he is here of his own accord. No court order this time. He has been experiencing formication. Formication, a word that sounds like another, dirty word. The funny word the doctors use for his hallucinations. Blake sees snakes or imagines bugs crawling all over his skin. Sometimes under his skin. The bugs are the formication part.

Blake is about to amble down the hallway in the opposite direction from whence he came and exit down the staircase. Instead he opens the AA door. About a dozen people swivel on their metal folding chairs to look at the intruder. He scans the faces but, surprisingly, doesn’t recognize anyone. The folding chairs face a long collapsible table. Seated at the table is a bald man. Standing beside the bald man is a pretty woman whose confessions Blake has interrupted. He takes a seat in the back row, at the end. He is already regretting his decision. He should have continued down the hallway. If he had he might have noticed the other door, the one with the professionally lettered AA sign. In that other room people are gathered to wrestle with their addiction to demon rum.

“Welcome,” the bald man says to Blake. “Please continue Alicia,” bald man says to the pretty woman standing nervously, knock kneed, fidgeting with her hands. Alicia’s dark hair is pinched up at the back of her head, a loose strand dangling beside her left ear. No make-up. A soft, charming puffiness to her face; around her eyes and along the corners of her mouth like she has a pinch between her cheek and gum. She looks like she just crawled out of bed. Kyle thinks her disheveled nature makes her all the more attractive.

“After my car engine died and the radio went silent, I saw a large craft hovering overhead. It was huge, like a floating strip mall with multi-colored windows. Two tall grey creatures were approaching me. They had heads shaped like upside down pears and large black eyes and tiny noses and ears and mouths like slits that didn’t move,” Alicia says.

Holy shit. And I thought my hallucinations were bad.

“I began to panic but as the creatures moved closer they began to communicate with me. With their minds. You know, like telepathy. They calmed me down. Suddenly I was aboard the hovering craft with no memory of how I got there. There were more large greys and some smaller ones who seemed to be workers and there were reptilians wearing uniforms with emblems of winged, feathered serpents. The reptilians seemed to be the bosses. They made clicking sounds. I think the large greys might be hybrids of the small greys and reptilians.”

Okay. She sees lizards, I see snakes. Same difference.

Alicia is still visibly nervous but is getting into her story, Blake thinks. Her voice grows stronger and more confident as she continues to speak.

She is a very, very attractive lush.

“One of the tall greys escorted me onto an elevator without a door. It was like a very large dumbwaiter. The elevator took us up and I could see inside a room with a table. The alien told me to take off my clothes and go into the room and lie down on the table.”

A fire alarm activates. In the AA room lights flash and a repetitive siren screams in shrill rising notes. Blake thinks he’d like to have the siren as his cell phone ring tone. A recorded message instructs them to evacuate the building.

Shit. This was starting to get really interesting.

            Blake stands outside in the parking lot with the other evacuees. He thinks he sees Jimmy, a fellow drunk standing a few yards away but he didn’t see him in the meeting. He sidles up closer to Alicia.

“You must have been really frightened,” he says.

“Terrified. I thought I was going to pee my pants. I hate public speaking.”

The bald man collects the group. “I’ve been told there was an electrical fire in the basement. The wiring in this old building is shot, I think. Everything is okay but it will be some time before we are allowed to re-enter. I’m afraid we’ll have to adjourn and reconvene next week. I’ll try to find a better location.”

People disperse. Blake is disappointed.

“You want to go get a cup of coffee or something?” he asks Alicia.

“What I need is a stiff drink,” she says.

“Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Why not?”

Blake can think of several why nots but none that measure up to her blue eyes and long legs.


Alicia orders a Cosmopolitan. Against his better judgment Blake orders a shot and a beer.

“I don’t drink very often,” she says.

“You’re like me. I don’t drink often either but when I do…whoo-ee.”

He asks Alicia to finish her story.

“I didn’t remember much from after I undressed and entered the room with the examination table. I found myself back in my car. Three hours had passed but it felt like I had only been gone for a few minutes. My car started right up and the hovering craft was gone.”

“Wow! Pretty bad episode. You blacked out.” Blake knows the territory. Missing days. Waking up at home with no memory of how he got there. “One time I . . .”

“There’s more. I went to a hypnologist who helped me recover my lost memories. I learned that on the examining table they spread a strange blue liquid over me and I became aroused. I remember being ashamed of my arousal. They must have been pretty rough with me. I had bruises on my thighs and arms and buttocks but the hypnotist couldn’t recover that part. Just as well I guess.”

Blake’s hallucinations are never arousing but Alicia’s story is and he wonders if she is embellishing for his benefit. He certainly hopes so.

“Then the aliens began to probe me.”

She has nightmares of being gang raped by illegal aliens while drunk. Damned Mexicans. We really need to secure our borders.

            “They probed both of my orifices.”

“Both of your…”

“You know, my anus too. With their appendages.”

“Their appendages?” Man, I need to switch to Cosmopolitans. “I just see snakes,” he tells her. “And I feel bugs crawling all over my skin. The bugs are formication. Do you ever formicate?”

“Not since the abduction. Maybe I should. Maybe it would calm me. I’ve never had anyone suggest it…so directly. Do you want to come to my place?”


In the morning over coffee and bagels with cream cheese.

“I think I might be pregnant.”

Blake’s butter knife clatters, leaving a smudge of pasty white cream cheese on the table.

“Whoa. Don’t look at me. We had sex the first and only time last night. There’s no way…”

“From the aliens, I mean. I haven’t had my period since I was abducted.”

“Let’s get this straight. Was this a hallucination or a nightmare or were you really gang raped by illegal aliens? If you were gang raped what good is an AA meeting? I mean I understand you want to stop because, yeah, a woman is vulnerable when she’s soused but… You should go to the authorities. You should see a doctor. Get an abortion if you need one.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because they’re watching. They’ll stop me. When I was on the ship I saw the breeding tanks though I wasn’t allowed to look into them. The smell was awful. I did some research. They’ll come and extract my fetus and put it in a tank. I think I need to let them do as they had planned or they might harm me.”

This sweet little piece is seriously fucked up.

            “I’m not going to let anything happen to you. I’m here to protect you now. You’re going to help me stop drinking and I’m going to protect you,” Blake says.

And I’m going to get you to see a psychiatrist.

He reaches over and holds Alicia’s hand. She leans forward and lays her tear- moistened cheek against his arm.

Blake wants to strip away Alicia’s delusions while leaving intact her wide-eyed willingness to believe almost anything.

“You’ll really stay with me?”

Blake nods. This place is so much cooler than my dump.

“I was supposed to go on vacation with a friend,” she says. “To Florida. But I couldn’t go. I couldn’t get on the plane. I never want to be in the air again. I’m terrified to fly now.”


Over the next few days Blake and Alicia settle into a state of complacent domesticity. Alicia is less edgy. She knows that Blake can’t protect her from the aliens but she likes his presence in her space. He calms her. She has decided not to go back to the Alien Abductee meetings. Blake has had nary a drop to drink since he moved in. He is happy and free from withdrawal symptoms. And Alicia lets him probe her as much as he likes. He has decided that maybe he doesn’t need Alcoholics Anonymous.


President Obama is addressing the nation. Alicia and Blake watch it on television. The President talks about the economy and the war on terror.

“Aliens control the human elite,” Alicia says. “Obama and all of them take orders to destroy Earth and make it uninhabitable for humans. When this place is wrecked and miserable the aliens will come and take over.”

“It seems wrecked and miserable already,” Blake says. He is beginning to come around to Alicia’s point of view.


Alicia wears the little silk teddy that Blake likes so much. She turns off the overhead bedroom light and flips on the bedside lamp. It’s a compromise. Alicia likes the room romantically dark. Blake likes to watch. As he pushes up the teddy and prepares to penetrate her he thinks maybe her tummy is a little distended.


Alicia is awakened by the lights. Orbs appear in the room. Hovering. Like shiny holes in the air with bluish outer rings. Things begin to shake and rattle. A glass breaks in another room. She is oddly calm.

“They’re here,” she says to Blake with a clear, steady voice and reaches over to nudge him but there is nothing to nudge. She is talking to an empty bed. The orbs are gone.

Alicia drapes a terry cloth robe over her nakedness as she steps over the teddy on the floor. She feels Blake’s semen dribble down her thigh. She walks to the kitchen and takes the bottle of Jack Daniel’s from the cupboard. Sits down and pours a drink and places the bottle and another glass in the middle of the table. Blake will be back in about three hours, she thinks. And he’ll need a drink.





Categories: From Swerve to Bend
  1. November 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    May I send you info on new book Elijah Rising from LGBT InGroup Press,a story of love & a search for justice in the Progressive Era,1920’s?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

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: