The closest I have ever been to flying was on the lonely swing set in our old backyard from the trailer park in Louisiana. I remember clearly sneaking out at 5:43 am in the morning, the dawn’s sleepy eyes barely peeking over the tin roofs, chipped paint, and grey tree limbs. I had quietly shut the screen door at the back of the house after tip-toeing quietly around sleeping guard dogs and avoiding different shades of cat tails that swayed lazily on the second hand floral carpet. The sun had winked at me through the wild leaves of the magnolia tree that towered over the worn down swing set. Mist floated over the dewy, damp grass and the air smelled of wet and soiled leaves, which clung together in piles that my siblings and I had made days before. I remember pouring out the pooled rainwater from the middle of the wet blue seat before climbing in, beating my legs back and forth, daring it to take me as high as it would. The protective clear plastic that had once covered the chains had long broken off, and the rusty red-brown metal bit my palms as I squeezed harder, with ever minute a foot higher than before. I clamped my eyes tightly shut, blocking out the light as best I could. I almost felt airborne. But the metal beneath my white knuckles ruined the effect of my flying dream. So when I reached my highest peak, I slid forward in my seat and let go. For the most blissful five seconds of my life, I was alive. I was flying. Then I felt air rushing past my ears and a horrid cracking sound emitted from my right arm as I landed.
Flying On Swings
March 10, 2013