I whispered a thank-you when I got them, because it was rainy and my heart kept pinching with sadness, but then suddenly I had wings, and so there must be someone to thank for them. I pulled over my car out on a lonely part of the freeway, near some vista point, watching over the cold midnight blue sky and the black shadows of leafless trees and mountain roads. I stood on that cliff and I took a running start down the road - keeping away from the cliff in case it was some sort of flight-delusion - and my wings caught the wind and I had a moment of tension like I was flying myself like a kite in the summer sun and my string pulled tight and up I went, blown this way and that by the wind on my big red wings, helpless and weightless and ecstatic.
And I learned how to maneuver in the wind - twitching and leaning and holding tension to swing this way and that in the air. And I learned to rise, and that was the best part, rising up and up and up until I really had no idea where my car was anymore. And I kept rising, through the clouds and then above them, and I could see the moon so bright and all the rain was down below me. And since it was dry up there I pulled out my cell phone and started calling friends and telling them where I was and they wouldn't believe me so I'd fly by their house and tell them to look outside and they'd lean out and wave and tell me it was incredible, my red wings all bright in the backdrop of the red city lights.
And I flew up high and then glided across the bay, moonlight on the bay water, my own red neon wings in the reflection, placid and empty and full of aquatic life that I couldn't feel but that I could feel like I was part of. And my wings and shoulders and for some reason my ankles all grew tired and so I landed in Oakland and folded up my wings and no one could see them and then I took the BART back home and the next morning took a taxi to find my car which thank goodness hadn't been towed.
And they're still folded back there today, so I could rise up and fly at any moment, but now I know that I can, so now I don't need to. And so today whenever I felt like I'd said something stupid, or like I couldn't accomplish everything I needed to do, I just thought about my wings and couldn't help but to crack a little smile. A little smile because I know I'm special - not special like everyone is special just for being a human. Special like I've got a secret, a real one that no one knows. Special like I have crazy glowy wings and any moment I could up and away and never be seen again, so I'm not trapped -- I'm here because here is exactly where I want to be.