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.

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13 thoughts on “At Large – the mind without a tether…

  1. Interesting question at the end. I’m not sure I’d have an answer. I also find his reaction to your question interesting. Sometimes people conclude something we never intended when we say something we think is clear.

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    1. You’re so right Dee! I was surprised he had put so much thought into my question, I didn’t think he had let it sink in. It was very hard for me to help him understand, and I don’t know if anyone could understand the sensation, just as I can’t understand certain aspects of other people’s experiences.

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  2. I also wish I could travel to the stars and touch them. I know it’s impossible, but the idea is just… cool. I loved this, your vivid imagery and the crisp writing style you used. Thank you for sharing it.

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  3. At first I felt like I needed to know more than you shared, and then I realized there was a classic essence to your story that didn’t require my knowing who he was or how you got there or if this was fiction or not. Nicely done.

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