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Adedjouma, D. (2013). Taxi Down the Runway, Lift Off. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(1):198-209.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(1):198-209

Taxi Down the Runway, Lift Off

Davida Adedjouma, LMSW

I believe I can fly

I believe I can touch the sky

I think about it every night and day

Spread my wings and fly away …

—R. Kelly

I love flying. The first trip I remember vividly was one I took when I was five years old with my mother to Kentucky to visit her mother, my grandmother, who had chickens in the backyard that I had to feed as they chased me around their turf, and who could wring their necks with one swift twist. On that flight I'd been allowed to go to the cockpit and meet the pilot, who showed me all the bells and whistles on the control panel. He even gave me a set of plastic gold wings and named me an honorary pilot with Delta Airlines. It didn't get any better than that.

The pilot was a handsome white man with black wavy hair that stuck out from under his cap, dark eyes, and a thin nose and lips. He looked like a movie star in one of those black-and-white films my mother used to watch on our big-ole console television. The stewardess, as she was called way back then, was blonde and blue-eyed, and wore a tight blue Delta Airlines uniform with a matching blue cap. I was a little uneasy because I wasn't used to being around so very many whites and wasn't quite sure what I thought about them or what they thought about me, if they paid any mind to me at all. I was clean, my dress was ironed, my hair was pressed and curled into bangs over my forehead and curls down to my perfectly straightened kitchen. My godmother, Emily, could really hot-comb and bump hair, even if I always came home with scorched ears.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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