Halloween heights

Saturday night we drove up a mountain to a party in the San Carlos hills. Up a steep narrow road, and I don’t do so well driving up (or down) steep narrow roads. So this is a Halloween story for me.

Heights didn’t use to be so scary for me. When I was young, I would have fairly skipped along a scary trail like the one in this video.

But now, even watching the above video makes my stomach scream “mama” as it tries to crawl up into my throat. But I keep watching it. It’s a cheap thrill.

The wikipedia entry for acrophobia, or fear of heights, says this phobia (really? a phobia? It’s not that severe, really!), this panic at being at altitude, may be caused by a “dysfunction in maintaining balance.”

Balance. Right. Recently I don’t have any.

Perhaps it’s my diminished vision—the once perfect eyesight becoming blurred and astigmatic. Or perhaps it’s my increasingly increased body type that’s throwing me off balance (yeah, just a little top heavy). And who can keep their balance in a sedan going up a mountain on twisting, rain slicked roads? No wonder I squealed like a little girl.

That night, we made it to the top of the mountain just fine, despite my trembling and shaking and shouting “Watch out! We’ll go over the edge!” The mathematician, who was driving, was not amused.

A warm and delightful house full of musicians and dancers awaited us, and once during the evening I even stepped out onto the narrow deck, where, high over Sili Valley,  I watched the pre-Halloween storm passing over the bay.

And when we left the party in the wee hours of the morning, I walked down that mountain, hugging the hillside, and enjoying the fresh air. I didn’t get back into the car until I got to the flats.