Of women and airplanes

Germs, germs are everywhere. It’s time to clean, to burn, to wipe away her residues.
Olivia has left, and soon another one (with other germs) will come.

I’m never really taking off, but it’s the landing that will hurt. I should know. My bones and heart have scars to prove it. Women are like airplanes.

“Mr Hughes?”

Germs, are everywhere. These cushions need to go.

“Mr Hughes”

Clean and disinfect, her germs are everywhere.

“Order new carpets and upholstery”.

“Mr Hughes, Miss Fontaine is here”
“Great,tell her to wait downstairs, I just need to clean myself”.

Germs are everywhere.

© Douglas M. MacIlroy

© Douglas M. MacIlroy

Since Rochelle didn’t do historical fiction I thought that I would do it this week. Recently I have been listening a lot to the podcast series “You must remember this”, about stories from Hollywood. In many stories Howard Hughes is important, both his efforts to make his own films, and his many many affairs with women. I can just imagine how it must feel to have germ phobia and dating many women (often in parallel) must have put a strain on him. For those that missed the reference to the ladies in question, I was referring to the Howard dated the two famous sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine in parallel.

Friday Fictioneers is a blogging community who write stories to the same image every week, Rochelle selects the picture and leads the way with her stories, and there are many excellent writers who participate every week.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to market dVerse were we share poetry 3 times a week. Every second week we have an open link opportunity, and this week I host. Take the chance to bring a poem, link-up and chat about poetry. We always open the prompt at 3PM CET.

June 8, 2016

64 responses to “Of women and airplanes

  1. Bjorn, You have captured the question that I have always had about Hughes; interesting conundrum there. Your fictional account is crisp and a bit creepy, just like the genius of Hughes. Thanks for connecting me to Fictioneers! I am just beginning to dabble in Flash Fiction and welcome the sparks.

  2. Women are like planes? How so, if I maybe so bold as to inquire?
    I love the story though, he can’t help his phobia nor his penchant for women.

  3. Very interesting writing, Bjorn. I can concur with your thoughts in the poem afterword. I think your writing gave this the maddening tone it must carry to those who suffer.
    I have only ever met one germophobe in my life, and it was a very sweet lady that works at the hospital, doing eye check-ups. I always think of her, how she wiped everything anyone, including her, touched, at least 5 times, 30 minutes of trying not to breathe while she scrubs everything – and I think often how hard it must be for her to go to job, daily, a job where contact with people is mandatory. But she keeps cleaning strong. It makes me think how her passion for her job can overcome, day by day, whatever is in her head.

  4. I enjoyed this poem so much – “germs are everywhere” captures so well how he must have felt. I adore “Women are like airplanes” – the lifting off, in love, at the beginning, the inevitable crash landing…….loved this, Bjorn.

    • I think writing fiction is a lot of fun.. at least this time it had some basis in his real life.. though I am not sure that he was this obsessive when he dated two sisters at the same time, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine… just saw that Olivia is still alive and will be 100 this year.

  5. Great story, Bjorn. Yes, Howard Hughes was a very unusual man with a great deal of hang ups. You’ve imagined your way – our way – into his head very effectively. How paranoid he must have been, how watchful. Very good write 🙂

  6. When I saw your title I took a deep breath, fearing the worst.
    What a scratchy, worrying tale you threw up, has me itching and looking for mosquitoes.
    Powerful and disconcerting.
    You rock, Bjorn.

  7. Having just re-watched “The Aviator” with my son, I was right there, picturing Leo playing Howard and now I’m itchy…

  8. Ah! Very good, Howard Hughes. He was a piece of work, wasn’t he? And to do historical fiction of a sort … brilliant!

    Five out of five banana nut ice cream cones.

  9. How taxing to be a germaphobe and date all those women. An airplane is definitely not where you want to end up. Great writing and storytelling, Bjorn.

  10. I loved this. The narrator’s voice had that obsessive, worried … almost frantic… note of someone with a massive phobia. Very clever piece indeed.

  11. Great story, Björn! You really captured that sense of maniacal obsession with germs for which Howard Hughes was so famous. The use of repetition almost made me feel as phobic there for a second.

  12. Dear Björn,

    Leave it to Howard Hughes to compare women to airplanes. I almost want to go clean, but I’m going to let the feeling pass. Well done.



  13. Great one, Bjorn. It almost made me want to clean (NOT!). I remember Mr. Hughes, quite an eccentric character. I suppose we all have our hang-ups.

  14. Really clever. I think you’ve perfectly captured the phobia and how it becomes the only thing you can focus on. Your story has an obsessive feel about it. Excellent.

  15. All I know about Howard Hughes is that he was a director. This is an interesting bit of history, the obsession and almost panicked actions feel very real.

  16. Good story, Bjorn. It must have been his own personal hell being that scared of germs. All the money in the world isn’t going to make that easier. Well written. —- Suzanne

  17. I don’t know anything about Howard Hughes apart from what I just Googled, but your story captured the mind of someone with a phobia of germs beautifully.

  18. Great story–I love the way you used repetition and helped us see the emotional connection to being a germaphobe. Thanks, too, for the podcast suggestion–I will check it out!

  19. A conundrum indeed. It seems he was very brave to date women under the circumstances of his phobia. In fact, as brave as flying in an aeroplane for those with a flying phobia.

  20. Inspiring Just amazing 😉 it’s the “Women”that makes us feel that “we are Men”.
    Pl go through my blog as well and put some comments to encourage me to post better blogs in future…….
    Let’s respect #Women 💃their #Dignity & #Modesty 🙏
    A News last night compelled me to pen down on a issue “haunting”me since my childhood. Long  back I read a book 📚though I have forgotten its name …

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