Wanted: Parachute

I walked along the back of the hospital where two men in overalls were hiding an exhaustive list of graffiti with fresh paint and rollers.

+=+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
+===+== Some say the world will end in fire, =+===+===+ It’s raining men!===+===+
+=+= Some say in ice.===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+== Hallelujah! =+
+===+===+= From what I’ve tasted of desire, +===+== =+= It’s raining men!===+===+
+=+===+===+== I think neither would be nice.=+===+===+= Amen!==+===+===+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+====+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

“I’ve always wanted to see my life flash before my eyes, but it hasn’t yet. Death is a sudden impact, but not so sudden that you never had time to think about it. Sure, it might not be as much time as you thought you’d have, or would want to have, but it’s time nonetheless. I suppose I’ve been given too much time to think about it – to put it at the top of my list; and here, when I should be enjoying the view, I instead find myself thinking of all things. Of all the ways to go, I never imagined thinking as being one of them. In theory, I should’ve had plenty of time to think about my life by now instead of death… So what does that say about me? Is my life or my death more important? Do I fear death, or have I feared life this whole time? And I suppose what is true in my case, one could argue, is that—” said the skydiver, wanting to take a step back and try a new point of view.

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+====+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+=…It’s raining,=+===+===+Don’t ===+===+=Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. ==+===+
+===+===+== It’s pouring, +===+Jump!===+===Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. ==+
….+=== The old man is snoring +===+===+All the king’s horses and all the king’s men ===+
+= Alone… +===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+=hardly noticed. +===+
….+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+ ===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

My six year old daughter wanted to make me breakfast for Mother’s Day. It would feel wrong not to commemorate the tradition, so I let her. She cooks toast, one slice for her and me, and joins me at the table. Naively, I tell her she still has her mother’s eyes. I smile—why? I’m not so sure, but she begins to smile. The toast leaps from the toaster and impacts the floor. She jumps up in her seat. I pretend to jump too, which comforts her; but in truth, she’s not convinced of why. I want the chance to jump again, but can’t because we’re out of bread.

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+===+===+===+Jack and Jill went up the hill===+===+Minds are like ==+===+===+
+===+===+= to fetch a pail of water,=+===+= Jack ==+===+==parachutes==+===+===+
….+ but got distracted on their way=+==Life ==+= fell down===+===+===+===+===+===+
+===+= and didn’t even bother.=+===is like+===+=== and broke his crown, =+===+===+
….+===+===+===+===+===+===Skydiving +===+===+=and Jill seized the throne. +===+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

“How old is she?”
“Three months.”
“Oh, congratulations!” Every month is a struggle at first, and thus an accomplishment. You put a big “1” on her first birthday cake and catch it on video. Once she learns to talk you don’t keep track of months anymore because you have to teach her what “please” and “no” mean, and how to follow your lead. You make a big deal of birthdays before she starts spending them away. Then she hits the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, just like you did, and then you start counting down, not up. It almost feels like she’s flaunting her youth, so she stops celebrating birthdays around you, but mostly because she doesn’t want to follow her mother’s lead until the end.

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+=== Hickory dickory dock, +===+===+===+== little miss muffet sat on a tuffet+===+
+===+===+= The mouse ran up the clock. =+== eating her curds and whey,+===+===+===+
….+===+===+= The clock struck nine ==+===+== when along came a spider=+===+===+
+===+===+===+=== And broke his spine =+===+===+= who crawled up inside her =+===+
….+ Now the mouse is out of time ==+===+===+== and [censored] her all day. ===+===+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

My little brother shared a wall with my room, and had a closet on his side of the wall. I would get scared some nights as I’d hear sounds coming from my own closet against a wall of my parents’ room. A creak, a moan; and then silence for hours. Even though I was fearful of monsters and ghouls, in waiting for the next noise I would eventually become bored of being scared, and talk to myself or restlessly tap on the wall to pass the time, unknowingly putting monsters in my brother’s closet.

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+= On the morrow he will leave me,+===+===+===+=== Minds are like parachutes; =+===+
+===+===+=== As my hopes have flown before. =+===+===+=best when open===+===+
….+===+==Quoth the raven,=+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
+=“Feed me. Feed me!”+===+===”Change the channel” =+===+===+=Don’t believe ever =+
….+===+===+===+===+=”Get the door” +===+===+===+==ything you read==+===+===+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

My dog loved chocolate. He’d do anything to seek out chocolate in our house and unwrap it and decour it. Good boy. I praised his little wit. Whoever “They” are; They say chocolate kills dogs; but not mine. Often my dog would get to any chocolate before I could. My dad would have to hide his little stash from the dog, but often it would still get eaten. Eventually the only spot to hide chocolate was on top of the refrigerator, so I knew exactly where it was. My dad would punish the dog because his things kept disappearing. Good boy; take one for the team.

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+= The itsy bitsy spider+===+===+===+= Two roads diverged in a wood, =+===+ :)+,< ==+
+===+== Went up the water spout,===+===+==and I— ===+=I took the one==+===:)+< +
….+===+===+== And reached the top==+===+==that made ==+===+===+===+===+===+
+=Irony is=+===+==\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\+===+=me cry==+===Minds are like==+===+
….+my anti-drug==+=== and everything worked out=+===+==parachutes =+==and popcorn+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

No child knows what they want to be when they grow up, but you give yours a helmet, a stethoscope, a microphone, some boots, and she dreams of being an astronaut, a doctor, a rock star, a cowboy. When she’s all grown up you have enough footage to look back through the memories and find the precise moment when “she knew exactly what she wanted to be… See?!”
You sat her at your chair in front of the keyboard and paperwork; “Okay, sweetie – nice and loud for the camera – ‘I want a desk job.’”

+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+
….+=Baa, baa, black sheep, ===+===+Minds are like parachutes =+===+=without them you co+
+===+==Have you any wool?+==they work best when you===*poof*===+make an impac+
….+=Of course I don’t, you+===+===+=don’t jump==+===+could die +=== bring a spare===+
+=blithering fool! +===+===+===+=minds::parachutes=+= slow==+==go==Don’t believe+
….+===+===+===+=I’m so cold===+=<:::stuffed:::>+==down =+==with the wind+everything+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+

The men in overalls covered the last of the now freshly unblemished wall. They took a step back and sighed, knowing they will return tomorrow after the night falls, and lands once again across the wall.

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