People can’t fly, and other bullshit your parents told you (2007)

Landing on floating island of the gods without invitation, a form of deafness exemplified by reckless flying. He stood on the roof of his parents’ house beside a marble angel, wanting the air to love him, wanting the wind to hold him up by the armpits like a small child, wanting to be caught by something big. He loosened his tie around his neck, dropped the daytime garb of midnight blue down the slanted shingles, pleased at the sound of the loose change rolling. He dropped his shoes one by one into the throat of a chimney, imagined a terrible scream flying like a shoelace up the soot-blackened windpipe of the house. He debated keeping his pants on, but remembered the crack of belts that snaked through all the daydream-and-too-average-grades years, and wondered if inanimate objects that had been used to hurt children went to a consignment store in Hell. He said goodbye to the angel, goodbye to the ground, the patchwork of rooftops quilting the town all around him. He braced his feet very steadily so that he would definitely jump rather than accidentally slip, and tried for a moment to remember everything he could about the story of Icarus, so as not to make any of the same mistakes.

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2 thoughts on “People can’t fly, and other bullshit your parents told you (2007)

  1. wow. That’s so descriptive and fierce, and even lovely.

    A friend from my town, an older gentleman who was a friend of my mother’s when she was alive, moved from his apartment on the top floor of his daughter’s Victorian house here to a senior living building in a town four miles away. He had gone deaf long ago. No one appreciated his dirty stories or his brilliant art. His kids really just wanted it all to be over, his demands, his tirades. So he accommodated them by dressing in a good suit, putting on his dress hat, and jumping off of the rooftop garden (8 stories up) of the complex. Here’s how his daughter, who is only trying to cope with the fact that he omitted her from his will after favoring her siblings all her life, described it:
    He landed on his feet. So his leg long bones were shoved into his chest cavity. He looked like a dwarf.

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