We lay calm in our beds that night. Even the baby, for once, slept soundly; even the dog, out in its kennel. And perhaps that was the odd thing, after all: how trustingly we slumbered. As if fate had gifted us a few last wholly innocent hours, before innocence fell away for ever. For when I woke, in the early morning – what was it? A difference in the quality of the light? Some new texture to the silence? But I opened my eyes, and I knew it. Something had changed. Something was wrong.
I made myself smile for a couple minutes. It always lifted my spirits. I don’t have a baby, a dog or anybody else to worry about. I am a young professional, advancing my career path. That silly baby dream is hunting me to sabotage my stable personal growth. In my dream, I am always lost and don’t know where to go, how to get back home. Home. Home is where your heart is, they say. My heart is hidden in some very hard to reach places, guarded day and night by my own monsters…
OK, enough. Light, camera, action. It is time to fly.
You take the same route to work, it is like being on autopilot, you don’t think, you just do it. You pick up your usual breakfast pack at the same coffee shop. You hand it down to the same homeless person with a dog. The people need to eat. Food makes you satisfied. Plus, there are babies, families, dogs, mortgages and other attachments that anchor you solid dead to the ground so you couldn’t fly.
If you cannot fly, then fight. This is what is going on around me. People fight for their illusions. And they don’t even see what they are really doing. They believe that they are living, going to work, eating, drinking, raising kids. They don’t even notice how they themselves become the casualties of their brutal wars.
I don’t fight. I fly. I don’t have attachments to fight for. I flee the battlefield as soon as I see the danger. Not that I’ve never had to kill anybody. But it was accidental, not intentional, human error, as they say.
Somehow, it is, actually, really hard for me to stay focused today, I have to make extra effort to control my easily distracted mind and not allow a morning breeze to carry me away. Maybe, it is spring that sweeps me off my feet, ever so powerful and strong: blooming cherries, tulips and newly born greens all over around me. Makes me feel like an unseasonal alien snowflake.
It is cold in the office. My boss is late as usual. He doesn’t care anymore about formalities. He thinks that he is a God. With all the power he got, I don’t blame him. Anybody would lose their mind. But I know that he is just like me, like everybody else in this office. He can fly and he is very good in fleeing the battlefields. That’s all.
– Have a job for you! You know how tense is it in our Southern Hemisphere.. We need somebody with your emotional intelligence to fix it. Needs to be done by the end of the day today.
Here you go, beginning of another productive day. My boss is here, he and his familiar carrot and stick approach.
– No problem, sir! – And that’s all for my distraction. I don’t have time for that anymore.
My assignment is to model a crisis in one southern country where people got dangerously out of hands with their internal fights. A decent size national crisis may help. The options are a standard famine or any other natural disaster, a flu epidemic, a currency crisis, etc. I create a few drafts and send it to the lab for testing. I used to work in the lab before, had to do a real fieldwork, play a simulation game to test if it would work as it should be. Once, I got stuck in the earthquake model and couldn’t get back on my own. Mary helped me out. Mary works here too. But she has attachments. That is why she is still doing her fieldwork and cannot be promoted to the next level. She wants us to be friends. She almost died saving me in that defective earthquake model. It was her job and she didn’t really do it very well if she was so close to kill us both. The memory of that disastrous trip flashed in my head in 2 seconds. I checked the gear on my wrest. 2 second is a good time. I can now control slips of my mind in 2 secs. Which is better than our team overage. As my mentor says, our mind is persistent and skilled distractor. He also says that to stay focused is the hardest work and the easiest hobby. He is the one who recruited me to work here fresh out of school. Old wise man without any false expectations, with work becoming his hobby.
On my way back, the dog in the park stood up on my approach and tried to lick my hand. It was not bad looking husky for a homeless creature. And while I paused measuring the probability to get infected by patting a poor thing, the homeless girl handed me a drawing. It was me… Flying…. How did she do it?
– I didn’t do it, – the girl said. – She did, – she pointed to the dog laying now comfortably at my feet, blocking my path.
– Good for her, – I turned to give her some change. And then I saw her eyes… Pearsing deep blue eyes… Tornado, earthquake and tsunami in one package.
She stood up from the bench and said:
-I’ll walk you home, it is getting dark.
This is how I ended up with the girl and the dog. The baby got into the picture some time after that.
And then, it was that night, when we did lay calm in our beds. Even the baby, for once, slept soundly; even the dog, out in its kennel. And perhaps that was the odd thing, after all: how trustingly we slumbered. As if fate had gifted us a few last wholly innocent hours, before innocence fell away for ever. For when I woke, in the early morning – what was it? A difference in the quality of the light? Some new texture to the silence? But I opened my eyes, and I knew it. Something had changed. Something was wrong. I couldn’t fly away.