Monday, September 24, 2007


by Miranda von Salis

I was flying. Soaring above the streets of New York. I felt the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. My eyes roamed, taking in everything, the colors were so much brighter. This was my world. Then, with a sudden blow it faded. My skin felts like red hot coals and I knew it was about to end.

I woke with a start, gasping as I tried to sit up. My body wasn’t responding. My head throbbed as I lay there on my messed up bed in my dark room. The only light came from my lava lamp, silently moving as before. I wondered why I do this to myself and slowly rolled over and tried to remember flying, a sea of city life below me. ‘Never again’, I promised myself time after time, but I was never able to keep that promise. Slowly I felt myself falling away then I drifted out of consciousness in the soft glow of the lamp. That night I dreamt of flying but it wasn’t the same. I spent the weekend hidden in my room.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. The sound pierced my skull like a drill. BEEEEEEEEP! ‘Oh god, it sounds angry now’. I rolled over groggily and banged the top of my alarm clock. Another bright cheerful week of school had come upon us. I slid out of bed and fumbled around in the pile of clothes on the floor. When I emerged from my room I was dressed in what I hoped were clean clothes.
Thundering down the stairs I wished I could be quiet enough to escape the house without notice.

Unfortunately, I can’t do anything quietly.

"Honey, is that you?" came an anxious voice from the next room. I winced.

"I’m not dad don’t worry." I stopped at the bottom of the stairs, giving my mom time to see Marcus Goldman out if the kitchen door. I’m not supposed to know about Marcus, mom’s new cradle robbing adventure, but she can’t keep a six foot four man a secret for long. It’s not like I’m going to tell Dad or anything because if I had a nickel for every time mom didn’t tell Dad on me, I wouldn’t have to leech off my friends.

"Are you hungry, dear?" asked my mom as I came in to the kitchen. I shook my head no.

"I think I’m just going to go to school." I grabbed my bag and my chewed up skateboard rushing out the door.

The air is cool and it’s kind of drizzling but I don’t mind. It’s nice change from the claustrophobia of inside the house. I got to school five minutes early but I know that in the ally behind the gym building all my friends hang out until it is time to make an "appropriately late entrance". I went around back were all the skaters jump off the dumpsters and rails.

"Hey dude! What’s up?" shouted Markey as he landed from jumping over Joe and Fred who were lying on their backs.

"Just chillin’" I replied, speeding over and dodging some freshmen.

"What’s Marcus up to?" he asked slyly.

"Same shit as ever." As I said my mom can’t keep anything a secret. Marcus was of particular interest to Markey because technically they shared a name.

"Your life is so fucked up, dude." he said in response. We were interrupted by the faint sound of the first bell ringing inside and the loud sound of some kid crashing into a stack of garbage cans.

We all scattered in a thousand directions.

Running in to first period English, I switched myself to school mode, completely disconnected from the world, and the rest of the time spent in those identical buildings is a haze. An English essay, Math test, and then lunch. Latin, by definition, the most boring class ever, and so on. The last bell of the day is a joyful sound as I rode out in a wave of relief.

"Hey dude! You wanna come to my house? I got a new stash and it’s going to be fucking awesome!" Markey whispered as he slid up next to me. "Joe and Fred are coming. What do you say?" I knew my parents would flip if I wasn’t home soon, but I couldn’t help but remember what it was like to fly. All thoughts of my promise to myself and the pain I knew would come after flew from my mind. I allowed him to lead me back to the parking lot where we met up with Joe and Fred.

"Hey you got him to come! Great, let’s go!" yelled Fred when we rounded the corner. I grinned,

"Yeah, you can’t get rid of me." This was so much better than going home. Soon we were on our way to Markey’s house.

"…and it gets even better because my parents are at my brothers soccer game so they won’t even know, dude." Markey said happily. When we got there, we tramped right up to his room. The procedure was simple, something done many times before. Soon I was flying. I flew all the way home, through my happy colorful world. When I woke I was on my messy bed bathed in the light of my lava lamp hating myself for going back on my promise, knowing that I will do it again. As I wallowed in self-pity my mother knocked on the door.

"Babe? Are you home?" she asked opening the door just enough for the bright hallway light to flood in to a sliver on the floor.

"Hey mom. Yeah, I’m in here." I replied slowly. At this response she opened the door the rest of the way and flopped on to my bed. It’s at times like these that my mother acts just like she is a girl gossiping with her friends.

"So what were you guys up to?" she asked bouncing just a little. "You look worn out." She watched me silently for a moment and although my mom isn’t the most observant parent I knew she could tell that something was off.

"Honey, what’s wrong? You look kind of sick. Do you feel alright?" she leaned over and put her hand on my head. Acting the role of a human thermometer is one of my mom’s favorite things.

"Mom, stop it I’m fine." I replied trying unsuccessfully to avoid her.

"You’re burning up? Are any of the other guys sick like this?" I smirked.

"I can safely say that they are all sick like this." I answered. She looked at me worriedly.

"What do you mean? What were you doing?" The questions started again and then it dawned on her. What was I doing? What terrifies the normal parent? That’s what I was doing. She became very serious.

"Just tell me Hon, are you ‘sick’ like this often?"

"How often is often?" I asked warily.

"Use your best judgment."

"Yes," I said blankly, "often."

"Alright." She nodded. "Explain it to me, o.k.?"

"Fine, but mom, can you close the door?"