hello there

Now the weather is warm, I've been going out at night to the school playground by my apartment. They fence it off at night but sometimes they forget to lock it, and even if they don't I can vault the fence easy enough. It's quiet there. It's empty. It's the only place in this city I really feel alone.

I mostly just sit on the swings. There's something perfect about swings. We've built airplanes and helicopters and all sorts of flight, lighter and heavier than air, but this is how humans experience flight. Little simple motions, higher and higher until the chains go slack and you're sure that you'll fall out if you keep going but you do it anyway.

When I was a kid I'd shut my eyes sometimes, to see if I could. It made it exciting like nothing else in the world was exciting, but it was terrifying, too. Last night I finally tried it, closing my eyes so I could only feel--the wind, the shifting weight, the chains going slack. And about when I got to the point where a younger me would have opened my eyes, I heard something--like footsteps in the gravel.

And then: "Hello there."

I jumped, only opening my eyes once I'd left the seat. I was ready to grab my bag and run, but I landed in the gravel and skidded to a halt right at her feet. "Oh, hello," I said. She gave me her hand and helped me up, and I brushed the gravel from my jeans. "Would you like to join me?"

We stayed there for what must have been hours, eyes closed, talking, laughing, flying, falling. And then we left and went home as the birds started singing and the sky started to lighten.

I'm not sure who she was. I don't know if she'll be back.

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