neon : faith in gravity

You finish the first day and those wings, they vanish like they've never been and you land, carefully, gingerly, in your sandals on your injured left foot. You call two of your oldest and most absent friends, who are in a genteel suburb a little to your west, and agree that dinner should be later rather than sooner.

You kidnap Cary, still wearing your belt, and drive north to a Lebanese bakery you have loved for years. You talk of marriages and travel and biking and programming before telling the person at the counter yes, you need six mixed trays of pastries and no, you don't need a bag for that.

He gives your belt back to you at the hotel, and you have a few minutes to wait before the old friends arrive and it's time to walk, walk, walk on that injured left foot again into the area of Greektown where, the night before, you were high-fived by strangers after the Red Wings won.

You eat deep-dish pizza and bemoan Detroit's falling house prices. You wonder where the time went, and how Dan still looks twenty when you know if there's any justice, the bastard's surely hit thirty by now.

You wonder where the wings came from, and how you slept on them for all those years without knowing they were there. You lie on the bed while talking with your old friends, celebrating the day and dreading tomorrow.

You call your teacher friend and let him have his moment to gloat. He did, after all, tell you that you were perfectly capable of flying. You just have too much faith in gravity.

The next morning you pack up your bag yet again; you stow your life in the trunk of a car and hurl yourself off the cliff again for hours at a stretch. You throw your hands in the air every time a student grasps a concept, and you hope they do not feel the onrush of air when they thank you, because you look down and you realize only the tips of your sandals are touching the ground.

You drop off your car, and you head for a state you've never seen before.