Sunday, December 1, 2013

That's How I Got Over My Fear of Heghts

At the bottom of the 300 (or so) stairs spiraling up to the dome of Sacre-Coeur high above Paris, we joke with a middle-aged British couple about the arduous climb ahead of us, agreeing that it will most likely be worth it, but that we just have to "take our medicine," and tough it out. The woman of the couple, a raw-boned, horsey woman with a generous, infectious laugh and a motherly air, appears to be game for anything, but the thin-haired, worried-looking man with her doesn't seem quite so sure.

We pass them about two-thirds of the way up the claustrophobic stairs at a breezeway across the open roof which leads to another set of claustrophobic stairs, and the man is clinging to the wall green-faced, while the woman rubs his back murmuring encouraging words. I realize its not the exertion that's getting to him: he's afraid of heights.

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