Tiny Wings

I feel heavy these days. Like I’m going nowhere. Stuck in place. Then there’s this L.A. traffic. A parking lot on the highway.

I step out of my car and look around. I see a pretty girl two cars over. I’m struck by the feeling to do something unprecedented. I’m going to go up to that girl and say, “You look like someone that I’d like to make important in my life.”

But as I approach, I see her eyes meet mine, and I hear her car door click. My chest contracts. There it is again. That heaviness. What am I thinking?

The guy next to me gets out of his car and shouts, “Hey, what are you doing?” I start shuffling back. “Nothing,” I say. “Exactly, nothing,” he says. What does that mean?

When I reach my car, I see the doors of all the cars on the highway open. Everyone is milling around. “What’s going on here?” I ask. “Nothing!” they shout back in a happy, celebratory way as if they’re shouting SURPRISE.

Suddenly everyone breaks free from the ground and float into the atmosphere, like balloons fleeing a birthday party. My heart goes wild. “Come down,” I shout, but the wind begins to sweep them away. Then I realize these aren’t exactly strangers. This is everyone I’ve ever measured my talents and reputation against. They are light, and I am heavy.

I spot the pretty girl high above everyone else. I climb onto the roof of my car. It buckles, bends, sinks. I wave at the girl. She shouts down at me, “You are not deprived!”

This means nothing at first, but then I remember: my tiny wings.
I pull my shirt off, and there on my back is a pair of atrophic wings. They do nothing at first but once I stop looking at everyone in the sky, I soar.

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