He watched the birds wheel away until they were only specks floating into and out of clouds above the horizon. He wanted to be a bird, following ancient migration patterns, knowing where he would be a day, a week, a year from now. And never alone, surrounded by members of his flock, each looking out for the welfare of the other. Floating over mountains, skidding over tree tops, gathering more and more friends as the migrators headed to their wintering grounds. Warm sun, exotic smells and fruits, developing love, thoughts of being a forever pair come spring.
He knew his ornithological view was idealist and romanticized. But he didn’t care. It wasn’t a science report, nor a presentation on geography or a short story to read to the class. It was his life he was planning; nothing he needed to share with bored teachers and jeering students.
No more in the middle. No more strained telephone conversations to overhear. No more two of everything so he could be easily shuttled back and forth. No more waiting at the curb with his knack sack until one or the other pulled up, falsely greeted with hugs and smiles as the other peered through the curtains to watch the reunion.
Whatever their problems were, he wanted none of it. Not his fault, not his forgiveness needed. He was merely something that had to be deposited, retrieved and pumped for information. If he migrated for the winter, he was sure that they would simply drive back and forth as if he was slumped in the back seat with his ipad and phone. He wondered how many trips before one or the other noticed the back seat was empty.
He just needed to figure out the wing problem. To sketch like Di Vinci, to fly like Icarus (but keeping a low profile from the sun), to dream like Verne and Wells, to create like Wilbur and Orville, recite the folk tales of humans turned into ravens, nightingales and swans.
Tomorrow he would come down to the field again. Watch the birds maneuver in the sky. Close his eyes, take a run towards the cliff, leap and feel the wind on his wings as he soared up into the clouds, doing a barrel roll for show and for joy. He wouldn’t dip his wings, or flap a good-bye. He would join the flock, his flock and never look back.
@ phylor 2014
for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo prompt 25 March 2014