Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wing Walking

Well with college behind me and the radio telling my future is in a shlump, I decided to become a wing walker. Why not? It was a crazy thing to do, seemed like a good move, and the glory! (There was some money to be had, too, if you played your cards right. But I have not played my cards right for years, not since a single Go Fish victory with my cousins during the summer when I was eight.)

I was pretty good at it, a natural they said. And while I was never entirely sold on wing walking, I liked it okay. I was probably the only half-hearted wing walker to ever exist. I had five good friends who I met on the wing. They were flying fanatics and good, solid characters. But they all went in one season.

Jamie said that there was nothing like the rush of the wind beating at your face and your ears popping like fireworks, or a marching band. He was a wing walking lifer. But I watched him tumble off for some reason I'll never know, there was no turbulence or anything. It was like something invisible hit him hard in the knees and he buckled, swooped his arms once like an epileptic ballerina and then he disapeared. We hosted him a small vigil later that week, mostly other wing walkers. His family, it was reported, had long ago given up on him. (They say when you start wing walking, you are doing up there doing a tango with death and one day the music will stop. That's gauranteed.)

I once heard Evan, drunk on limed Corona light, going on and on about the relationship that develops between the wing and the sole of the foot, how any relationship with any woman on the planet was incomparable. (How we woman love to be compared to foot and aluminum! And lose!) He fell on his mother's birthday. Landed and split open as most of them do, opening up like the colors of an exotic flag. Or a smashed birthday cake, if you were to really stretch it.

Anyway, I shouldn't need to go on. I do not wing walk anymore.

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