Everyone gets a thrill out of something different. Olivia, the heroine of Driving in Neutral, loved test driving Formula One race cars. She got a huge thrill when the revs spiked to 7000 and the engine snarled. Me? I got my kicks singing The Genitalia of a Fool onstage with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze (UK Squeeze for all you Down Under).
I suppose you could say what thrills me is sort of tame, especially when you compare me to Dr Shrinkee, (my Clinical Shrink husband). He gets a thrill out of riding his Ducati Monster, which replaced the thrill he got from racing his 1959 Triumph Herald. He’s full of daring-do. His personal safety is never an issue.
Maybe safety is never an issue for him because, what with being a shrink, Dr Shrinkee is able to counteract fear on a rational,clinical level. Or maybe it’s simply that he has no fear. I’ve seen this no-fear attitude of his. He’d never been skiing and had no idea how to stop, but that didn’t keep him from going down the steep slopes in Taos, NM at full speed. He didn’t pause to think about it, or consider the potential for injury. He just did it.
He just DOES IT.
For years he’s wanted to go skydiving. So, for his birthday I got him a tandem skydive, which resulted in my being struck by Barophobia, the fear of gravity. Yeah, you know what I mean. He may not be scared about jumping out an airplane, but I sure as hell am, because, you know, GRAVITY and all.
But it’s not just that. It’s not just that my palms got all sweaty and I had heart palpitations when I bought him the skydive (which he hasn’t done yet), it’s the fact that the day I presented the skydive gift certificate to him, the company that runs the adrenaline-pumping tandem skydiving adventure lost a plane, pilot, instructor and the skydivers. It’s the fact my Editor Kate, who knew about the gift I was giving my husband, sent me a text asking if Dr Shrinkee had gone skydiving because she’d heard about the tragedy and was worried that…well, that Dr Shrinkee had been aboard the ill-fated aircraft.
Yeah, Barophobia. Gravity scares the hell out of me. It scares the hell out of me so much that I won’t be there when Dr Shrinkee finally goes for his skydive. It scares me so much my palms are sweating as I type this.