I am trapped in a hot air balloon, at large in midair. The tether has been cut, and all the sand bags abandoned ship. I am captain of the Derelict, with no way to steer my vessel or return to port. The wind blows me about, until I fear I will be as Icarus, blown into the sun, everything that holds me together burnt up, leaving whatever is left to plummet back to earth. Yet the sun sinks beneath the sea and I am left to drown in the emptiness of the night sky.
My fear now is that I will freeze in the upper atmosphere, or perhaps I will float too fast and burn up as I leave this planet behind. Part of me longs to reach the stars and feel their tingling light, but science tells me I would die in the vacuum of space before that could ever be.
He asked me, “what does it mean when you say you don’t want to be you right now?”
I ask him, “what do you think it means?”
He told me he was afraid it meant I didn’t want to be here. The thought scared me. I didn’t know how to explain to him that he didn’t have to worry, I wouldn’t be jumping into any hot air balloons any time soon. Not willingly at least.
I wonder, if I was to fall into an air balloon and float into the toxic stratosphere of euphoria, would I meet others there? Am I the only one that fears hot air balloons and wings made of wax? I can’t be sure what is worse, the thought that I am alone, or the thought that others have floated away before me.