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Since I was 6 years old I have been haunted by an emotion of failing to connect with something that would have made all the difference. It pops up from time to time. Often it is evoked by some threat of missing some sort of transportation. This neurotic anxiety is particularly conjured by airplane trips viz. missing a flight. Missing a connection is even worse.

In “Miss Saigon” the heroine misses the last helicopter flight out of Vietnam. She looses her spouse and the means out – she is left behind. When I saw this on stage, I had a panic attack and had to leave the theatre.

I have no such trauma in my personal history, so this is not some sort of ‘flashback”.  I joke with myself I must have been a refugee in some previous life.  I was on the Titanic running to catch the last lifeboat, only to find it was launched.

Sometimes this sensation is more abstract. If only I had hurried up, gone left, not right. Whatever – a connection is missed and I am left behind.  It is not abandonment I feel.  Abandonment is done to children and animals.  No one is leaving me behind; I just can’t make it to the connection in time to join the others.

For no obvious reason, it hit again today as I was driving home. Once more I got that vague terror. It is a sad feeling of loneliness and loss. I have missed happiness by seconds at an appointed place.

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September 2010

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