Fear of heights

The odd things was, Dickie longed to experience that feeling.  It wasn’t any kind of death wish:  there was not a suicidal cell in his body.  Rather, it seemed that the very sensation, the inner force that made Dickie’s scrotum tighten, his throat constrict, and his eyeballs swim in dizziness also made him want to tumble into the precipitous void.  And ultimately, his fear of longing to fall war greater, more disturbing, than his fear of falling.

Villa Incognita, by Tom Robbins

That is the best definition of the feeling I get at the top of a mountain that I’ve even come across.  It’s a disturbing feeling that I might throw myself over the edge just to see what it would feel like to fall out of the sky.  A joyous lunge.  A thrilling long jump.  A primal scream of furiously happy as I say SCREW IT to this world and leap out of the box.

And that’s why I hyperventilate and cling to trees.  Take my last valium and close my eyes to slits open only enough to not run into anything.  Why I never will sit on the edge.  It’s that uncomfortable feeling that I might lose control over myself for one second, and the next find myself in midair, riding the wind, all the way down.

The same feeling I get in important meetings that I might blurt out something completely ridiculously perverted and obscene.  And start laughing uncontrollably. 

Not a death wish at all.  A longing to feel free from the constraints that have me wearing matching socks, attempting to brush my hair, and not farting in public.

 

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