the idea is to have your arms crossed as tightly to your chest as you can and your legs tucked back (basically touching the bum of the person strapped to your back). in essence? complete and utter dependence on this stranger- for your life. now I know I had to do it, clearly, but just about a year ago I made an oath to not ever be dependent on anyone (regardless of the situation). 14,500 is pretty high up, especially if the numbers get lower and lower by the second. of course I close my eyes, but for JUST a split second. I mean only right when I drop out of this tiny plane. There is no closing your eyes when all you see in the foreground is partly-translucent clouds, Kenosha in the background, and six o’clock sunset illuminating everything above the cloud line. once you accept the fall, you just want to keep going. keep going, keep going. not towards an ultimate death (but here is when my post-death curiosity craving kicks in), but speed, unclear sound, visuals, etc. Basically a fast forward. (Eh, but landing in Kenosha as my launch off point/grave, my dead body and hopeful soul would not appreciate that. What I would prefer? Maneuvering that sucker as West as possible and if Gesus would allow me to land and die in the Black Bear Forest- gah!) Mmm- I jumped out of a fucking moving plane and landed on the polluted, dying Earth 14,500 below. How did I get here? To this point?
It really does seem ages ago when I lived down in the Loop. Hell, it was not too long ago when I was homeless. I was just starting a new school (again), in love, and really soaking in the fact that I landed my apartment in the sky. Wasted months, really. I did nothing that I can remember. Work, school, Ally, work, school repeat. Why had I left Michigan? I was doing the same exact fucking thing. I’ve had the small idea instilled inside me that change is always good, from a very early age. By this time, it had taken over. Complete abduction. October rolls by and by golly everything changes. I’ll be writing about this through blog, song, poetry, whatever for a long, long time. I figure if there’s a lot of text, she won’t read it or her friends. No slideshow photos of “My Trip to X with X, Y, Z”, no sentences starting with “You know what I think?”, no italicized words of John Mayer’s new hit. Anyways.. October- right. It made this year what it is, and I have to keep remembering that. Forcing myself to believe it was a good thing in naive and doesn’t assist in the whole process. At all. How am I supposed to gauge if “it was a good thing”? What if I hit the ground because my parachute didn’t work. And I didn’t die, but I had complete paralysis except for my eyes. I can’t talk with my eyes! They never could communicate what I’m really thinking. ever! And how I am supposed to serve overpriced coffee with my hands? How am I supposed to drive around my grilled cheese/semen cart around Chicago (C-man’s Grilled Cheeser)? Then that One Thing That Happened in October would be bad thing, yes? I can’t make a judgement call yet- I’ll give it a few years. Cross your fingers. Mark the date. December hits, snow falls and all things changed. I started wearing all-weather boots. I understand how convenient they are to walk around with, but have you ever tried working for seven hours with those bad boys on? I feel like I’m in Rocky’s training segment. Then to go back into the snow- oh, Lordy bless the tiny hands that made these all purpose boots.
Then I found a job that I loved. (love). I met and lost more people that affected me than anyone else I’ve ever come into contact with. And this doesn’t necessarily have any mutual characteristic to it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It forced things into perspective. As good ol’ G O double D said, I was blind but now I see. Actually maybe that was jesus. I don’t know I feel like they recycled each other’s proverbs and whatnot. I mean how many catchy fortune cookie slogans can one come up with. EVEN if you’re God. Writer’s block happens to the best of us. Anyways, I was put into challenging conversations, thought provoking circumstances, and a place where I was uncomfortable, in the most comfortable way. It was like maturity steroids or something. I grew up, quickly and almost unhealthily. I’m not growing breasts or have any sort of shrinking balls, but who knows you know? This year..really changed me. (Cue You Can’t Always Get What You Want). *The More You Know..and shooting star. Thank you- and you know who you are and what you did.
And then, rock bottom. Out of one apartment, not into the next. I was going dedicate a whole entry to “The Kindness of Strangers”, but my discipline in the last few weeks has been nonexistent, so let me give this a whirl. My first homeless home was in the kind city of Lafayette, Colorado- right outside Boulder. The two weeks I spent there really calmed my head, heart. You can ask me to my face how it was and what I did, but for now I’ll give you one anecdote. It all starts with a bus ride down from the mountains. Not too bad, high and drunk to a decently high degree. We can handle it, we have handled it. Feet dangling off into a river, 40s in hand, and some local Colorado pot in a handy dandy new Colorado one hitter. Brian looks over, right over my head. Here..we fucking go. “What are you boys up to tonight? How old are you?” My instantaneous lie, obviously eventually telling the truth, cut to- pouring all the booze into the river and walking away..into the front yard of a nearby church where we can finally smoke the packed bowl that I was able to hide when the cop came. then, falling asleep with radiohead blasting my laptop on the bus ride back to Lafayette, on the bus. of course, we have no idea where we’re going and the combination of internal tinted windows on the bus and the complete lack of street light creates and obstacle. Everything becomes multiple replications of one another. Guy sitting in the corner of the bus, are you staring at me? Or is your head turned? Golly, oh me oh my. We get off the bus only to find out from strangers sitting on the ground we had been going the complete wrong way. The stranger’s response “go catch up wit’ my sista up der and ask her to drive ya. tell her her brother sai’ so” We catch up to her, ask her, hitch a ride, get home. I need to get home. I need to get home. I need to get home. I need to find a home, then I need to get home.
So it’s August and a customer asks me if I wanted to go sky diving. Regardless of my coworkers’ rants about how I didn’t know him and my high probability of rape, death, etc, I had to go. I knew the situation except the actual free fall and floating would be incredibly uncomfortable, but what’s life without a lot of uncomfortable moments?
Be still, my brain.