Concentricity … 13

Ch 13 ~ I believe I can fly

“Imagine, Luke Grady.  Imagine this.  And it isn’t a dream,” he paused, looked at his friend with a glint of joy in his smile before he continued forward, in actions and in words.  “Imagine that you can fly.”  

He lifted up into the air as if an invisible and massive exhale had collected itself from deep under the surface of the ground, had reached a critical mass and had pushed silently and gently — despite its gigantic force — against the soles of his feet, causing his body to become airborne.  Suddenly, then, there he was, Miles Thomas Brown, effortlessly accelerating into the heavens without any equipment or instrumentation.  Completely free from any machinery (ironically), his clothed body utterly exposed to the sky and the clouds.  He faced the world and its horizons, an act that was for Miles Thomas Brown something within the very fiber of his being…everywhere he went.  And so it had to be that he would and did face the world and all of its potential and all of its doings with an open mind, an open heart, an open spirit, watching with generous quiet and engaged delight as the world beneathe his feet danced about and rapidly began to unfold while he continued to ascend higher and higher…flying across the sky in perfect unison with the heavens.  As if doing this act was all as natural a thing as it could be.  As if doing this act was as natural as breathing air.   Whoosh.

“Fly!” Luke just about squealed.  He would have felt a little bit silly about shouting out a word like a child or squealing in surprise like another excited child.  But this thing — what Miles was doing right before his eyes — this thing was a very, very, very big thing for Luke.  And although he was very much a young man a grown man who had seen a bit of life with more long stretches of it to come, in some ways Luke Grady was also really very much a little child, an excited child because the notion of being able to engage in any kind of extended motion previously had been, for him, an impossibility.  Until now.  Luke Grady had been born with a genetic condition that had rendered him unable to walk for all of his life.  He wasn’t exactly paralyzed, but the effect was just about the same.  And in the physical world, Luke’s condition, as he sometimes liked to call it, could be challenging.  It wasn’t the world so much that was challenging.  Not if you asked Luke.  If you asked Luke, he would tell you it was the limitations we place on ourselves, the way we hold ourselves back from learning and growing.  The way we view ourselves — through defensive distortions in either direction.  Those were the challenges.  And sometimes Luke’s condition factored into those challenges.  That is, until Luke found a way to remove his near paralysis out of the equation.  And it had to be so, that Luke wouldn’t give in to this disability.  He was thoroughly able.  His very young life promised a very long stretch of days in front of him, but all of which were days when he would — without question — continue to face the relentess truth that his body voiced so insistently whenever he tried to move about.  He simply couldn’t.  Not without his wheelchair.  He thought about naming it once, the wheelchair.  May have even named it for a time, but he fell in and out of that fancy.  While the wheelchair was just as much a part of Luke as anything on his person, and Luke had gotten to a place where he was okay with that fact, he was not okay with any suggestion that he should be defined by the wheelchair or the effect his physical form had on his person.  In his mind, that would be the same as judging someone by how they looked or the color of their skin or how ample their breasts were or how big their shoe sizes were.  Ridiculous.  So Luke rarely talked about it.  It wasn’t that he denied it.  No, he never did that.  But he refused to let it become a crutch, as ironic as that might be on some level.  One of the ways he claimed back his power and ensured that it didn’t define him was to not think about it much.  As a consequence, anyone who might ask Luke why he was wheelchair bound usually came away with only a vague sense of whatever had caused his body not to allow Luke to stand and walk or run. 

But watching Miles Thomas as he curved through a low floating series of clouds, Luke allowed himself the luxury of squealing wildly like an overly excited child who had just received the best gift ever.  Because now Luke could not only stand and walk and run like all his friends and like just about everyone he knew could do.  But not only that…now, Luke could fly!  There was no one in the physical world that Luke knew who could do that.  And while he didn’t know everyone on the planet, he was willing to lay money down that he and Miles were the only two in the entire world who could actually fly.

“C’mon!” Miles yelled from behind the whisps of a giant white cloud just before his bulletted form cut through its edge and jetted forth with the robin’s egg blue sky as his backdrop.  “What are you waiting for, Luke!  Get off your ass!” Miles laughed from a place of deepest caring and friendship, “Hop to it, buddy, and FLY!”

Yes even in space, you can hear your friends urging you forward.  Brave new, strange new, wonderful new world.

Nearly hyperventilating, Luke’s breathing and adrenalin both went into overdrive.  His hands shook from it all, he couldn’t deny this.  To say he was excited was an understatement.  This wasn’t just an emotion, oh no.  The truth of the matter was that Luke was excited enough to feelphysically feel — his purpose, his focus.  His focus in motion.  In the act of moving about.  This was a very, very, very big thing for Luke.  He never realized until this moment that intention had dimension and texture, but he could feel it.  It tingled.  He could feel his entire cellular structure steeped in it.  And he could just about physically see it, actually envision it with his eyes looking upon it…just not in the usual way of seeing.  Intention was more pervasive, more entwined than any free standing image taken in isolation.  There wasn’t necessarily a clean outline.  It was simply and wildly complexily everywhere.  Too impossibly improbably but (without question Luke could attest) literally everywhere to see.  Yet, in this moment, for Luke, intention was too impossibly improbably vital to miss. 

And then it happened.  Luke squeezed something…from somewhere in the back of his head.  He couldn’t tell you what he lay pressure around or where it was or how he could even do this.  He could only tell you that doing so had brought as much meaning to his life as anything, that it had brought even much more meaning to his life than anything had before.  Doing this had enlarged his spirit more than any piece of equipment in which he was bound could ever hope to do.  And yet both served their purpose.  One, the wheelchair, contained him in the physical world while giving him motion to be and to do.  The other, some series of cogs and wheels some tiny miniscule mechanism in his mind’s eye, gave Luke Grady his dreams…unshackled him and stood him upright solidly into his legs so solidly forward that with no effort at all oh my god without a second’s hesitation or question “WHOOSH!!!  I CAN FLY!!,” Luke yelled like the roar of an entire football staduium when the favorite team wins a world championship after several years history of coming up short. 

“Dude,” Miles Thomas laughed from deep within the schmooshed cushions of an overused club chair in the local bookstore.  He playfully tossed a loosely balled up scrap of paper that bounced off of Luke’s shoulder but registered enough within Luke’s brain…the part that wasn’t gaping in awe at the image of himself soaring through the skies on the back (or front) of his own brain.  The part of Luke’s brain that took note of being lightly hit with a wad of paper…that was the part that caused Luke’s head to twitch.

“Dude!” Luke barked and laughed all at once.  “Hey!  I’m FLYING here!”

“Yeah…” Miles chuckled deep within his navel, “And don’t we *all* know it, bud.  Volume’s a touch *loud* up in the higher reaches of the atmosphere I noticed.”  Miles lobbed another volley of crumbled papers Luke’s way.

“Hey!  Don’t throw me off track, man!”

And instead of saying another word, Miles unplugged his mind, pushed his body even further back into what was clearly a very loved chair, one that gave way to any pressure whatsoever.  From there, in this physical space in the physical world, Miles watched his friend with glee.  He didn’t need to be watching the simulation that they were both in to know what was happening for Luke.  The kid’s smile was so big it completely swallowed up his other facial features.  It completely swallowed up the entire store.  And his torso swayed with each cruising, banking turn that he steered straight into the sky.

Whoosh…

There were others, a small group of others trying this new technology.  This was an experiment in embedding in a whole different way.  Not all of those in the small group of others were like Luke Grady.  In fact that would be a crass generalization to say that they were all alike…even the ones who looked and behaved and sounded and thought the same ways.  They were all different.  Some, like Luke, shared the reality of living fairly immobilized in the physical world, doing the best that they could in all places even in the face of sometimes bad or off days.  Others, quite contrary to Luke’s experience, where immobilized in a completely different way…within their own heads and hearts.  But still doing the best that they could, given the constraints they dealt with, in all places…in good and bad and indifferent days.  Still others in this small group thought of themselves as average (or thereabouts) everyday souls, fairly well balanced in heart and mind and spirit and physical capabilities who were also doing their best in all places even suffering sometimes bad or off days.  Then there were the rare few…the very rare few (Emily knew of only one really)…those who were something somewhat more than genuises…doing the best that they could in all places and sometimes having off days.  The rarest of the rare would say that each of us was among the rare few, being uniquely us, and no one would argue this.  Collectively, we were all uniquely us.  Collectively individual.  Global intimacy…within the world of billions in whatever way intimacy had meaning to the world of one.

As much as he wasn’t particularly a fan of this song, Miles still appreciated how it resonated with the small group of others that had this new technology embedded behind their eyes.  Indeed, how it resonated in so many ways with everyone in all worlds.

I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I’m leaning on the everlasting arms

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me, oh

If I can see it, then I can be it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

Hey, cuz I believe in me, oh

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothign to it

Hey, if I just spread my wings
I can fly
I can fly
I can fly, hey
If I just spread my wings
I can fly
Fly

….

Ch 14 ~ “I made a note to self on a piece of paper and I can’t remember where it is or what it said  — have you ever done such a thing?”

“You see finally,” Forge said quietly, his voice narrowed and congealing around itself.  It directed itself with laser-like precision to her ears.  An amazing feat all by itself.  Emily noticed that Forge had somehow targeted his sound waves in such a way as to create what amounted to a private line of convesration between the two of them…even out in the open in a restaurant where there were twice as many ears as mouths.  Well that would be true anywhere, with two ears for each mouth.  By doing this though somehow Forge had just achieved an out of body demonstration of something that he was suggesting could be done entirely, quiet silently in body, from brain to brain.  In essence.  And transmitted, broadcasted silently from there too.  In essence, steampunk telepathy or some such thing.

“You see finally what I’ve been trying to describe to you, my easily distracted friend.”

Emily rounded her lips.  She tilted her head in a sluggish manner to the side.  Her eyebrows threatened to crawl down the bridge of her nose she frowned so intensely.  A hand wafted above the table.  It was her hand, wafting, but she almost didn’t register that fact in her mind.  Her hand was as perplexed as the rest of her, and at the moment “the rest of her” would primarily be her mind.  Her extreme hesitation in extending her pointer finger served as more than a few exclamation points, bookending her confusion.  !!!!!Exclamation points in front and exclamation points in back!!!!!  Just like that.  Uber confused.  So much so she couldn’t even form her hand into the ubiqutious “Now, wait a minute here” or “Now, listen here” or the “Now, first of all” sign of authority…or at the very least they were all signs of an attempt at authority.  She couldn’t even attempt it. 

“I won’t ask how,” she verily whispered through tightly compressed rounded lips that posed themselves into a perpetual o.O.

“A wise choice,” Forge said calmly, keeping his eyes glued on her.  Pat’s eye continued wizzing about, he was certain.  She was uncharacteristically quiet and subdued…no doubt, re-immersed in her favorite Real Trashmen episode. 

“The better question would probably be,”

“Why,” Emily and Forge said together.  But Emily secretly feared that the answer Forge was about to give would prove to be even more information overload.

NaNoWriMos total word count this chapter:  2,540; total word count todate (not including this notation) this chapter: 19,240

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2 thoughts on “Concentricity … 13

  1. You are doing NaNoWriMo as well? I’m also an official participant. Can we become buddies? My username over there is called murazrai and I’m now 32,284 words. Good luck then, and I’m looking forward to exchange novels after we complete each others’ novel.

  2. Well, I’m “unofficially” doing NaNoWriMo :). “Unofficially” because I know my writing process well enough to know that it will take me probably 40 days to reach 50,000 words (last year, my first try at this, it took about 45 days). That said, I’m not registered on the NaNoWriMo site…maybe next year, I’ll put another layer of pressure on and actually register to finish in 30 days gosh but I can’t even imagine that. I’m happy enough to complete it within 40-ish days! 32,000+ words already? Wow, that’s great! Keep up the great work! And will be fun to read your novel which it sounds like you’re very close to finishing! Bravo!

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