Sunday, October 18, 2009

A free bird leaps

Chelsea K. walks the street of a familiar neighborhood--blue, charcoal, brick--the order of houses she remembers in her muscles, the chortle of birds on the wire soothing. Billy who is six waves from behind the sprinkler. His sister grinds the wheels of a pink car along the driveway, her concentration heavy. Chelsea walks for many blocks, passing neighbors and cars and street signs, on her way to meet her future self.

Chelsea K.'s future self, she thinks, will be quite nice. An accomplished college graduate with steady work and maybe one daughter and no husband; that would be preferable.

Upon traveling one block further, Chelsea K. reaches an end in the road where the asphalt drops off into the center of the Earth. There is nothing past this point except an expanse of sky.

I hadn't expected this,
Chelsea K. thinks. What shall I do now?

Though the telephone wire had broken where the road ends, there are several birds still nesting atop the pole nearest the edge. She looks to them for advice, and of course when they speak the answer is simple.