I wish I could fly

To cite the much-overused metaphor, I’m standing at the edge of a cliff and looking down. I look over and see the trees and ground below me, and the hills far off in the distance, as far as my eye can see, receding into blue and shades of grey from the green that they are near me. There’s no railing. But I am in New Hampshire, not Scotland. It is warm, and I am looking off into the distance, wearing jeans shorts and a running shirt, my converse with the cross-country laces on my feet. I’m looking into the distance, again, mesmerized by a… mirage? Is it? I look down and see a lake, blue. Green trees and fields. The rock of the cliff is the colour of suede, but without the texture. The cliff is hard, that if I put my hand down and rubbed it against it, it might draw blood. Moss grows on the sandy rock that would cushion the bloody hand. The sky. Blue again, not the navy blue of the lake but something more grey, not the cornflower blue of summer. The colour of a winter sky, but that cannot be. It’s summer, judging by the temperature.
But is it? Nothing seems usual in this world. A snowflake falls from the sky and lands on my arm, making a perfect dewdrop as it melts. The mountains, hills, in the background start to become stormy and grey and I shiver though I do not feel the cold. I only see it. It does not approach. It was a mirage… was it? The changing of the mountains in the distance. But I am certain of the single snowflake that fell on my hand.
I don’t like it here. I’m trapped, for I cannot bring myself to go down the mountain. My legs are stuck on the edge by the power of my mind. A tuft of grass grows by my feet, two inches away from the orange shoelace. It, like me, teeters on the edge. Maybe it will fall or be blown by the wind. All objects take the same time to fall. If I were to fall and be blown by the wind, I would hit the earth so many feet below at the same moment as the grass. Or perhaps, in this world, I would not fall, but just… float. I would survey the land from a vantage point far above it, as I am now, but now, the cliff is holding me up. And if I jumped, would I float away above the earth, or would I just fall, and it would not be romantic, just a fall. A few seconds of freedom, and then hit the ground. But if I did float… I might see what is in the distance, or even below the trees on the ground… a mirage? Will it be? I rock back and forth on my toes, surprisingly making this decision without any fear of death or falling off without my full consent. I feel detached from where I am now, as if I am watching myself from a dream.
Hailey comes up behind me, not looking like she has been through the ordeal of walking up the mountain. But neither do I. She stays away from the edge of the cliff, but stares at me for a time without doing anything. I warn her, without saying anything, not to come join me. She moves for a moment, but decides it is better to stay on the solid ground. I wish I could go back, yet the mirage in the distance draws me that way. The solid ground and the presence of Hailey drags me the other. I inch forward, until my toes are off the cliff and one gust of wind could send me over the edge. But there is no wind here. It will have to be my own choice, to escape from this dream by jumping, a perilous pursuit, or go down the mountain, escaping from this predicament but facing greater unknowns.
Hailey stands there, and takes a few steps forward. Did I not warn her not to join me? But she isn’t. She steps closer, and laughs in my face. It was clever of her, for this jolts me back into reality- is this reality?- for a moment. I blink, and instead of darkness I see carousels, courses, trees, brownies, and musical instruments, maybe even a darkened track covered in snow. Do I go? Or do I step off? Hailey does not laugh again, but looks at me, forcing me to make my own decision. I ask her if she will tell me, and she says that she will. When? I ask. I could stand here forever, but nothing would ever happen. The next step I make can only come from my feet. She does not say when. Will what she tells me even matter, or am I too steeped in the trees and lakes and mirage off of the cliff side that I will jump anyway? Will there be something to cushion me there, or will I fall with the grass as I feared, finding only the hard ground? If I go back, I do not know if it will be the same. The lure is great to go back. But if I jump… I am certain that death does not await me. Only a broken heart.





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redsoxandsunshine said...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm
Hmmm someone rated all of my articles 1/5 stars... thanks... at least you're reading my work!
 
SUPERMANDwightHoward said...
May 10, 2010 at 8:34 am
Very descriptive i love it is there more
 
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