Fear of Flying

Dreamed last night that I was either in Wings with Paul McCartney, or else I was Paul McCartney during the Wings years. The music part of the dream is mostly lost to me now, and I have the sense that it wasn’t that long, anyway. My recollection gets more clear as we were headed off stage and back to the plane, which was a smaller commercial jet, like a 737. I was the pilot. Apparently I had landed earlier right on the periphery of a military base.

The exact sequence of images is beyond me (images are the dream equivalent of events IWL – In Waking Life). Moving from the cockpit back into the cabin, I found maybe a couple dozen people sitting in the seats, waiting me to fly us to wherever it was that we were all going. I began to panic, as I became aware that I wasn’t really qualified to fly this plane. I had flown in alone, I said, and was only trained on a smaller plane. First I said a twin engine, but then I realized that that was an exaggeration, too, so I downgraded it to a single engine, even though I couldn’t quite remember that training, either. In sum, I told the people they should not be flying with me, though they were less concerned than I was.

I went back to find a bathroom and ended up on the military base, where I encountered a sentry. We both had access to an alarm button, as if we were both sentries, he of the base and me of the area outside the base. I asked him something like, “Are you going to press the button or am I?” One thing led to another and soon the military police were on board the plane, arresting everyone and marching them off with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

I was mortified that my lack of piloting skill had led to the arrest of all of my guests, and asked the General in charge (why there was a General involved in this operation, I can’t say) if it was really necessary to handcuff a bunch of people who weren’t resisting and posed no threat. Protocol, he told me good-naturedly.

I felt particularly mortified because one of my guests was a musician I know, the former lead singer in a particular band famous enough for me not to mention. He’s also a leader at a self-development organization called WINGS.

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