AS OTHERS SEE US
Dreamed 1993/12/3 by Chris Wayan
A parking lot in Palo Alto, California, a hundred yards from Stanford University. I'm sitting in a van with a friend. We're both kids--orphans. A few cars over, a man is playing blues harmonica, alone. I can't do that... though I have the time and the sadness and even an instrument, my blues would be... gray. That's how my life is. I'm thinking of selling my instrument. It just saddens me more to play when no one's listening.
See, we have legal guardians but they aren't around much--more like teachers than parents. I'm part of a group of kids being raised by a corporation. We're all gifted and talented kids, we were picked out with testing and interviews from thousands of throw-away and homeless kids. But despite the schooling they pay for, we all feel neglected, abandoned--only valued for our talents, not for us. Well taken care of, but that's not love.
So we've been learning magic. In the last two years, on our own, we've learned how to pool our thoughts and feelings, and how to levitate. Some of the adults who are supposed to care for us are competent magic workers themselves, able to fly better than we are. But they don't teach us much, we have to figure it out on our own.
On the other hand, it took humanity thousands of years to learn how to fly, and took even the Wright Brothers years. We did it from scratch in two!
I wonder sometimes. Could this neglect be intentional? What if our guardians are teaching us originality is better than scholarship?
One night I learn the answer.
We're flying in a group so high over suburbia we leave a contrail. Two of our guardians are leading us. A galaxy of light below, in a vast grid, with one black rift to the east for the Bay.
Suddenly, for the first time, our guardians leave us to fly on our own--they peel off and zoom away faster than we can follow, except with our eyes. They're as bright as fireworks! All fliers shed colored sparkles into the night... Mr. Mark, tall and thin, leaves fierce red sparks. Mrs. Frank stays a moment then her gold/orange sparkles curve away too like falling fireworks. Leaving just us, alone, a thousand feet above the grid of sleepers, in their tree-covered little houses like croutons in a moonlight salad.
Our souls shed blue and gold and violet fire as we pick up speed and confidence, skimming like tangent meteors through the suburban night.
Now I know. The adults were drowning us out--and they knew it. We need elbow room, to truly shine. Loneliness is the price of flight.
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