When I was a kid I used to buy and sell gravity
I knew how to fly, and I would teach you for a fee
Broke every window in my hotel heart
When I was only five years old
The twelve years scared
But I’d hear the same voice echo in my mind
It’d say, “Son, you’ve got an angel.”
That’d chase the devil out the mind.
–Preacher, by One Republic
I want to fly.
I’ve always wanted to fly. I have dreams about it. Sometimes it’s kind of an antigravity thing, where I just float up into the air of my own volition. Sometimes I just flap my arms really hard and generate enough uplift to soar.
Strangely, in my dreams, flying never involves actually having wings. And yet, I am obsessed with them – the idea of men with wings. You might have noticed if you’ve read some of my work – it’s popped up in a number of my stories (The Autumn Lands; Tight; Skythane), and “Flight” was the theme of last year’s QSF flash fiction contest (though in all fairness, Angel picked the theme, not me).
And in my dreams, I am possessed with the absolute certainty that I can fly – so much so that when I wake up, for a few precious seconds, I’m convinced I have this exceptional ability.
In RL, I’ve never actually done it. I haven’t plunged out of a window, convinced that I could fly without wings, or taken hang glider lessons, or even gone up in a hot air balloon. I have flown in jet plane – and I close my eyes as the jet takes off, every time, to try to feel the exact moment of liftoff.
There’s something freeing about flight, about leaving all of my cares and stresses and troubles on the ground for a few moments to soar far above the earth.
So far that home looks like a speck in the dirt. So far that the air is fresh and clean and cool. So far that I can breathe again.
But in the end, I always come back down to earth.
Do you dream of flying too?