I briefly remembered my brother and me as kids; jumping off of couches with items in our hands as wings, hoping we’d float for a minute and learn to fly. My brother once jumped out of a second story window using an umbrella as a parachute. While I vaguely remember the image of him falling, I clearly recall the stunned look in his eyes as he landed on his rear and disappointingly wondered, how did that not work? We now regurgitate the antics of our childhoods, and while some memories have folded between the layers of passing time and reality, this particular goal of ours had the capability of surviving over the years far more than others.
Teetering on the edge of the open door, I heard the jumper count to three and in the next blazing second, I was soaring. I tumbled out of the plane remembering my brother and me flapping our arms as we leapt into the air and hoped this would be the time we remained there just a second longer.
The wind rushed past my body, through my tightly wound hair, over my ears—a persistent reminder that I wasn’t entirely alone or entirely forgotten in this strange atmosphere that I didn’t belong in.
If the earth was Mother Earth, and Mother Earth had a mind, I’d be the inconsequential thought floating loosely around the corners of her consciousness. She’d try to push me away and wonder where I came from, but I’d be as persistent as a waking dream; as perplexing as a deep-rooted nightmare.
This was my attempt at slugging back at life and at monotony—at my unhappiness in the everyday routines that were bogging me down. And so I decided to sink in a different fashion: hurdling downwards in a game of chicken with gravity that I hoped I’d win. Like a burnt out star, bright and optimistic one moment then snuffed out and lost in a sea of other stars crowding the universe, I left a trail of smoke behind me like a tail or a ladder, in case I needed to climb back up again.
Like a winged Vitruvian Man, my body shot through the sky in an attempt to hug all the corners of the world and press them tightly to my chest, never to let go. I wanted, like a handkerchief, to fold the four corners together in the center until all the patches of green, the miniature houses far below, and the boundless blue of sky and ocean were folded towards the middle. Like a pop-up book, I wanted the power to pull out the earth as I saw it then.
When the parachute finally opened, Zephyrus’ howls ceased and instead I was surrounded by a silence I never knew existed. Gusts of wind blew in to ruffle my thoughts and freshly loosened strands of hair while I, lost in empty contemplations, admired the clouds’ shadows blotting the ground. Sitting atop the horizon was a lonely Icarus, dripping through the clouds like golden rain as he waved for me to go over.
The temperature changed as we slowly descended, literally spiraling towards the ground to break through the boundary between fantasy and reality. I didn’t want to touch the grass. I would have rather kept on moving towards the ocean and have waited for night to fall; would have kept flitting between the stars like a shifting constellation. I felt like someone’s escaped thought slowly returning to them; like paper; like a balloon slowly losing air. I felt like the only person to exist in the whole world and wondered if this was the luxury Adam experienced for those few brief days.