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Past Thoughts

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

If I Could Fly

Today I was given the gift of flight. I remember whenever someone would ask that one hypothetical question, that if we were to magically gain a super power, what it would be. Everyone would choose flight. Not me. Strangely the whole idea of soaring into the sky seems incredibly impractical. What about air pressure? What about adverse weather and intense temperature changes? What about the strong gushes of wind? I never did like to dream. It didn’t make sense to fill one’s head with silly stories that simply won’t be.

But now here I am, floating in midair, completely not by choice. Gravity seems to have failed me and now my imagination has as well. What am I supposed to do now? Where am I supposed to go? There is a strange voice in the back of my head that constantly whispers to me.

“Someday you will fall,” it would say, “someday your powers will wither away and you will fall while mid flight.”

It should frighten me but I don’t think it did.

“I know that.” I would respond immediately without a single tinge of emotion.

I remember people would ask me where I would go if money or responsibilities never existed and I could go where ever I wanted. I hated that. Why would you even ask me that? I would go to my room and lock the doors just so the sound of your shrill voice would never bother me again. Of course I couldn’t really say that because then people will find me odd and never befriend me and then my mother would drag me into the terrace in our backyard and yell at me for being anti social. Instead I would humour my friends with equally preposterous things like Mars or Machu Picchu. I could probably go to Machu Picchu if I tried—even before I was granted this power, that is. I could save up my monthly pay and sick days, I could pack my bags around Christmas break where people would be blissfully unaware of my absence, and I could fly to Machu Picchu to see the remains of one civilisation past. Not that I would understand anything. Not that I would be able to tell the difference between those rocks and the rocks in the creek by my childhood town.

Then again, there’s really not much of this world that I understand. A big part of it is just one question that seeks to be answered but never will be. But the question teases you, it ceaselessly talks of how the answer lies in nature—that it’s floating up there just beyond our view of the sky—and all we have to do is reach for it. Now I look at the sky, so wide and blue, and it feels intimidating. It taunts and ridicules while at the same time invitea you to fly right into its abstract embrace. That’s silly. How would air embrace me? Still, it called my name. For a while now I’ve considered flying straight up to find the voice that calls me. Maybe the faceless voice knew where I could find the answer.

“Where are you? Show yourself!”

But no one would answer. Then a few minutes would pass and the calling would resume. It feels like a little game of Marco Polo. I’ve always hated being it. In fact, I hated pools in general. What was the point of floating around in everyone’s piss and sweat without knowing which is which?

Now I’m bored. Gravity has failed me. My imagination has failed me. The only thing left to do is fly. So fly I did, straight out into the infinite voids of time and space, wondering how far I could go before the power ran out and I would fall back towards earth like that old Greek hero. And the stars would twinkle gently like there was no day or night and I’m alone. Finally, I’m alone. Today I was given the gift of flight.

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