Friday, May 18, 2007

my yellow balloon

Flying is a strange feeling. The adrenaline rush is a constant mix between the fear of falling and the ecstasy of floating. This is where I find myself.
Soaring high above the trees and beaches, I strain my eyes to identify buildings or streets that I recognize. Wondering how I am so high in the air, I follow the string that is tied around my waist up to where it is securely fastened to a yellow balloon. Just then, the wind dies down, and my yellow balloon and I begin to drop. As we near the ground, the wind picks up again, and we start floating again, though not as high as we once were. I can now see people’s faces down on the ground. Over on the beach, I see the Werner family and some church kids running around. Must be a beach day for the school. I call out to everyone and they wave at me as I pass over them. The wind changes direction and I begin to fly inland. It gets dark very quickly as the sun sets, and I begin to realize that my balloon is about half the size that it once was and I’m quickly descending. I land softly on the ground and reel in my balloon to inspect the problem. It appears as though someone has poked it with knife or a needle, and even though it is made of a very thick latex rubber, it has sustained a small puncture wound in its side.
As I’m standing on the dark street contemplating a way to patch the hole so I can once again fly over the city, I notice a man walking toward me. He was acting nonchalant, but there was a look on his face that told me his intentions were quite deliberate. I began to walk the other direction and heard his gait pick up a bit. More angry than scared, I turned around to face him just as he tucked a knife in the folds of his jacket. He nodded and walked briskly away. This must be the guy that poked my balloon! Thoughts of vengeance flashed through my mind, but being unarmed, I thought it best to let him go this time.
As I stood there with my dead balloon in my hands, I wondered how I’d get home. I was miles away with no transportation. I pinched the hole in my balloon and tried to reinflate it, but it was no use. “Besides,” I remembered, “it can only fly during the day.” Defeated, I started my long walk home.