it’s a mystery.
i watch online, videos of people who do extreme sport and fall, body slicing through the air to a safe landing. there’s always an after video, a quick shot of someone pumped on adrenaline and grinning madly. sometimes they shake, trembling even as they give thumbs-up.
i wonder what it’s like.
you are the one who protects me, always keeping me safe on terra firma. i don’t know what it’s like to fall, and i watch videos to imagine it. on the best days i can lose myself in it, trick my mind into letting go of my body: i can imagine for myself the drifting sensation, the sweep of falling through gravity.
after i feel a secondary adrenaline, not unlike a bout of secondhand smoke.
stop protecting me, wanting me to stay comfortable on the ground. it was pleasant at first but has since grown tiresome. your hand is always in mine, or maybe it’s my hand in yours.
either way i am anchored here, secure. there’s no tussle with the wind and the air, no jovial mock-survival story for me. all there is, is me and you and solid ground.
(i sneak out for a quick hit of adrenaline from climbing walls; come home steadying the shakes as breath rattles through my bones)
you frown, bemused at tousled hair and ruffled clothing, but say nothing. later, your grasp on my hand is just a little bit firmer – not tighter as if to keep me here but to assure yourself that i’m still here.
(the adrenaline becomes a memory, one that’s addicting and powerful and irrepressible)
the mystery unravels as i continue, even as it spins a new mystery in place. i don’t understand why you don’t want this for me, why you want so much for me to be safe. you don’t understand why i want it, why i follow the rush, but it doesn’t matter, because i am spinning off into adrenaline and chasing a new goal, am flying through the air and bending the rules of physics.
this is falling: i chase too much, run too far and my hand slips from yours, neither of us making an effort to stop it from happening.
i’m falling, flying. my body weaves a pattern through the air, bracing for the soft slow landing that’s awaiting me.
you’re not here to see me; i’m already gone.