It never occurred to me, until just a moment ago, as I lay swamped under a pile of clothes on my bed, half awake and dreaming, that falling is always heavily romanticised in movies.

In movies, when people fall from great heights, the process is always slow, always surreal, always serene, always beautiful somehow. The falling person’s body is captured in a graceful still, the person’s eyes are closed, the person is smiling as his or her slender arms sweep through the air, hair rushing in a beautiful streak of colour above, waterfall thundering behind in silence.

Then I thought of rollercoasters and how afraid I am of them.

Where is all that beauty? Does my heartbeat slow? Does my hair rush behind me? Do I feel tranquil?

No. My cheeks contort, my heart races to the point it feels as if it might fall out without my noticing, my stomach churns, it’s too fast for me to notice my hair, I feel like I’m in the express train to death.

Death! So I am afraid of it after all? I say all the time that I’m not afraid of dying. I don’t think anyone is. We’re all just afraid of how it’s going to happen. We’re afraid of the pain.

There is no such thing as a beautiful escape, is there? It’s either you swallow things as they come along – failures, people, heartaches, indifference – or be swallowed.

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