Somewhere in this hulky, bulky body with all its dangly, gangly parts is a soul that is neither man nor woman, old nor young, thin nor fat, native nor foreign, beautiful nor ugly. Maybe not literally, for you materialist debaters, but certainly and really. Sometimes the metaphor is all there is, the words we use to describe an idea are the fullness of its noumenon. I want to explain that to these young, energetic, beautiful people laughing and smiling all around me as the wind howls by more loudly than you can imagine. "We're not that different, really. Not on the inside." They'd never hear me in all this noise, though. "I'm not just an aging, overweight computer programmer. There's more to me." But I'm self-aware enough to imagine how it would seem. It sounds pathetic in my head. And suddenly the opportunity is gone as they all disappear, shooting inexplicably upward into the sky, defying all reasonable explanation. My startle passes when I realize that it's me, not them. I'm still plummeting toward the ground and they've all pulled their chutes. I should probably pull mine. I wonder if they conspired to pull their chutes without me, trying to ditch the old dude. Man, the ground is coming up quickly. Where is that ripcord? I wasn't really listening when the young lady was explaining. I was too busy wondering if she was wondering what I was doing there, imagining that she was judging me. Was she? I mean, it seemed like she made eye contact with everyone else more than with me. Why did I even sign up for this thing? I'm so obviously out of place. And now they're all way up there and here I am, dropping like an old, dorky stone. Is this the cord? I'm pulling it but nothing is happening. Maybe they just gave me a backpack and not a parachute. No, they wouldn't do that. They seem like cool kids. I'm just imagining things again. Insecurity, that's all. What was I doing? Was there something important I was looking for?
Hello, friends. I hope you're well.