"Ordeal in Space "by Robert A. Heinlein

Maybe we should never have ventured out into space. Our race has but two basic, innate fears; noise, and the fear of falling. Those terrible heights—Why should any man in his right mind let himself be placed where he could fall…and fall…and fall—But all spacemen are crazy. Everyone knows that.

The Medicos had been very kind, he supposed. “You’re lucky. You want to remember that old fellow. You’re still young and your retired pay relieves you of all worry about your future. You’ve got both arms and legs and are in fine shape.”
“Fine shape!” His voice was unintentionally contemptuous. “No, I mean it,” the chief psychiatrist had persisted gently. “The little quirk you have does you no harm at all—except that you can’t go out into space again. I can’t honestly call acrophobia a neurosis; fear of falling is normal and sane. You’ve just got it a little more strongly than most—but that is not abnormal, in view of what you have been through.
The reminder sent him to shaking again. He closed his eyes and saw the stars wheeling below him again. He was falling…falling endlessly. The psychiatrist’s voice came back through to him and pulled him back. “Steady old man! Look around you.”
“Sorry.”
“Not at all. Now tell me, what do you plan to do?”
“I don’t know. Get a job I suppose.”
“The company will give you a job, you know.”
He shook his head. “I don’t want to hang around a spaceport. Wear a little button in his shirt to show the was once a man, be addressed by a courtesy title of captain, claim the privileges of the pilot’s lounge on the basis of what he used to be, hear the shop talk die down whenever he approached a group, wonder what they were saying behind his back—no thank you!
“I think you’re wise. Best to make a clean break, for a while at least, until you are feeling better.”
“You think I’ll get over it?”
The psychiatrist pursed his lips. “Possible. It’s functional you know. No Trauma.”
“But you don’t think so?”
“I didn’t say that. I honestly don’t know. We still know very little about what makes a man tick.”
“I see. Well I might as well be leaving.”
The psychiatrist stood up and shoved out his hand.
“Holler if you want anything. And comeback to see us in any case.”
“Thanks.”
“You’re going to be all right. I know it.”
But the psychiatrist shook his head as his patient walked out. The man did not walk like a spaceman. The easy, animal self-confidence was gone.
Only a small part of Great New York was roofed over in those days; he stayed underground until he was in that section, then sought out a passageway lined with bachelor rooms. He stuck a coin in the slot of the first one which displayed a lighted “vacant” sign, chucked his jump bag inside, and left. The monitor at the intersection gave him the address of the nearest placement office. He went there, seated himself at an interview desk, stamped in his finger prints, and started filling out forms. It gave him a curious back-to-the beginning feeling; he had not looked for a job since pre-cadet days.
He left filling in his name to the last and hesitated even then. He had had more than his bellyful of publicity; he did not want to be recognized; he certainly did not want to be throbbed over—and most of all he did not want anyone telling him he was a hero. Presently he printed in the name “William Saunders” and dropped the forms in the slot.
He was well into his third cigarette and getting ready to strike another when the screen in front of him at last lighted up. He found himself staring at a nice-looking brunette. “Mr. Saunders,” the image said, “will you come inside please? Door seventeen.”
The brunette in person was there to offer him a seat and a cigarette. “Make yourself comfortable Mr. Saunders. I’m Miss Joyce. I’d like to talk with you about your application.”
He settled himself and waited, without speaking.
When she saw that he did not intend to speak, she added, “Now take this name “William Saunders” which you have given us—we know who you are, of course, from your prints.”
“I suppose so.”
“Of course I know what everybody knows about you, but your action in calling yourself “William Saunders,” Mr.—“
“Saunders”
“—Mr. Saunders, caused me to query the files.” She held up a microfilm spool, turned so that he might read his own name on it. “I know quite a bit about you now—more than the public knows, and more than you saw fit to put into your application. It’s a good record, Mr. Saunders.”
“Thank you.”
“But I can't use it in placing you in a job. I can't even refer to it if you insist on designating yourself as Saunders.”
“The name is Saunders. His voice was flat, rather than emphatic.