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Gerund or infinitive?

This is a question of flying or in other words: to fly or not to fly'.

It's not that I won't do it, it's not that I refuse to do it, it's not that I can't do it, it's not that I haven't ever done it, it's purely and simply a case of old-fashioned fear. Yes, I am terrified. Terrified of what, you may ask? Why, flying of course.

Each time the subject of flying comes up, I mean to be relaxed and I try not to show my anxiety. But that means being someone else because that's not how I really feel. I've tried reading books about it. I remember once going on a course in order to get rid of my phobia but I failed to conquer it. I've even tried doing special exercises before a flight but it just doesn't seem to work. Someone suggested flying at night and I wouldn't need to look out of the window because it would be dark and I would be too tired to worry.

Now, I know there is no logic in this but then my mind does not work along logical lines. Ask someone to accompany you up to the fifth floor, who to all intents and purposes is as sane as sane could be, is married, has six children, agrees to help old ladies cross the road, never neglects to clean his teeth, manages to get to work on time, is always first to offer to do the washing up and is invariably tucked up in bed by 11 o'clock at night- as I say, ask this rational individual to pop up a few floors in the lift and they will pointblank refuse and say they would much rather use the stairs. Try carrying out this experiment on the ground floor of the Empire State building and mention the 30th floor and you will see a soul in torment. It's very difficult to avoid using the lift in that situation. People enjoy watching you as you brace yourself for the torment. You long for them to stop staring at you. You suggest having a cup of coffee before you enter the lift. I don't mind being watched normally but in this particular situation I hate to be observed. The frequent flyers and the lift-users will tell you how stupid you are to have such fears, such irrational phobias. They will attempt to point out how stupidly you are behaving, they recommend you to see a doctor, they keep saying how they can't understand how you are not used to going in a lift at your age. They start to tell you that they used to feel the same way when they were children.

Finally they will tell you that you are more likely to be run over by a bus when crossing the road than have an accident when flying or using a lift. But they don't understand. I don't know about you but when I cross the road, I am essentially in charge. I look where I am going. My eyesight is pretty good and I can see buses. They're big! So, are you a high-flyer, too?

Please, share your thoughts with us here: To fly or not to fly?
Author: Alan Townend