The call of the clouds

I don’t understand it.

But I love it.

I stand here with the wind ruffling my hair, ready for take-off, and it’s the best feeling in the world. In a moment I will soar, glide, hover, wheel about, drift in the currents. I will be king of the air.

When I fly it’s as if I have unlimited power, as if I must hold myself in check just to stay on the surface of the planet.

When people ask me about my unusual ability I generally say it’s 90% intention and 10% genetics. I know you have to have the gene for what I’ve got – big, light empty bones like birds have (I weight only about a quarter as much as normal people while looking about the same size) – but I know lots of people who have the same double recessive gene and still can’t fly. That’s because they don’t have that 90% intention. I’m very strong on intention.

I first got a sense of my ability when I was little and used to dream of flying. In my dreams I would take a little leap off a wall or a park bench then somehow just pull the air with my arms and quietly soar into the sky.

Then one day when I was seven years old, Barney, Mitch and I decided to jump off the roof of the pig house. (That might sound dramatic but a pig house has a pretty low roof.) We all jumped together and that’s when I first flew in real life. My dreams had prepared me for the pull and glide and calculations required. I swept into the air and drew myself just over the treetops – only turning around when I heard Barney screeching. I dropped into a graceful landing near him. Mitch was up and dusting himself off by then, but Barney was crying and hollering, “My arm! My arm!”

Anyway, it might have been the end of Barney’s flying career but it was MY start. I’ve had many wonderful, unbelievable flights since then.

Granted it’s been trickier lately, since I’ve been hospitalised. THAT happened not long ago when I hesitated just as I was about to jump from the roof of my apartment building. A couple of people who were up on the roof as well grabbed me, not realising I could fly, and threw me to the floor. They took me to a police station; from there I was taken to a hospital and finally ended up here. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, but there’s no need to stress as I’m well looked after here. Most importantly, I get to go out on the lawns a couple times a week. On those days, I quickly get out of sight behind the trees, lean into the breeze and take off. I get up just at tree top level, fly over towards the lake, skim down to the water where the breeze ruffles the water surface, and flick over to a farm nearby where I hover over ploughed furrows.

I always comes back because here I get everything I need. Besides, they’d just go looking for me if I didn’t show up at medication time.

But today is a little special. I’ve found my way to the roof of the hospital. It’s the highest I’ve ever taken off from, and it gives me an extra shiver of excitement. I should get enough momentum from this height to fly over the whole valley with very little effort.

I don’t understand it. But I love it.

Up, up and away!

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