Saturday, July 19, 2014

Falling Ashore

 
 
 
"My life amounts to nothing more than one drop in a limitless ocean. 
Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"
 
-David Mitchell, Clouds Atlas
 
--------------------------------------------------------
 
Welcome to the stormy skies.  Say hello to jagged lightning, a familiar friend, 
Do you feel the turbulent gusts abound and see the swirling clouds, darkened?
 
You, as do I, cling to the moment knowing that our immediate course is out of our control,
Something isn’t quite right.  Everything’s unsettled.  We aren’t home and it’s starting to take a toll.
 
Take the time to look closely within.  Do you feel what I feel?  Do you see what I see?
A particle of imperfection.  A core of rebellion.  The very human nature of both you and me.
 
Fight each day but to no avail will the dust be removed.  Tight fisted we hang in the balance and wait,
We are but raindrops floating in the sky, a collection of beautiful tragedies destined to fall toward fate.
 
We shiver high above earth chattering amongst ourselves insecure and longing for a glimpse of the sun,
Fight hard for grace, yet it can’t be earned. Only when a selfish pride dissolves can our legs birth a run.
 
When our final breath has been taken, and we drop from the sky, where will we fall?
Through a life of love, we can descend toward a swirling blue surface, its hope calls.
 
Weightlessly and effortlessly we streak downward, gravity pulling us toward home faster and faster,
So close to redemption.  So close to salvation.  Away from the storm of life, and eternal disaster.
 
Yet this isn’t just any ocean.  This is the ocean of Love.  Its very essence is clear for all to see,
The ocean of Love has been felt since the beginning of time and will forever be.
 
Upon contact, our identities are washed away.  Our past mistakes sink to the ocean floor,
Now only to be seen as one with Love.  With a splash we have become something far more.
 
A salty coolness and calming peace washes over the soul.
Drifting free from the storm overhead, thunder now but a distant roll.
 
For a second you look up and see a luscious jungle full of fruit and bright greens ahead,
But in the next moment you are crashing down surrounded by white foam instead.
 
Your vision is clouded as you are thrust forward at great speed.
You look down no dust remains, its foundation has no need.
 
“You are now with Me,
A part of My endless sea.
 
You have crashed anew in My sacrifice.  In My Love, you have broken clean.
For all of eternity in my ocean of love, forever will you be seen.
 
Look up child, for you have arrived.  Say goodbye to the stormy skies.
Say farewell to your flaws.  Welcome to paradise, now... just open your eyes…”
 
--------------------------------------------------------
 How I see us:
 
We are all like raindrops.  Every raindrop that is formed is centered and shaped around a particle, a defectiveness.   We are all like raindrops.  At our very core.  Within the nakedness of our human nature, lies a speck of dust.  A seed of imperfection.  A rebellious and callous side.  It is our rise and our fall.  It is our private battles, we tell no one.  It is our mistakes in full.  From the bite of an apple, it burst into existence.  It’s after taste sour and pungent.  No matter how ‘good’ we are or what life we live, it will never be enough to rid us from that particle.  But that doesn’t mean that there remains no hope.
 
As our life progresses, so do we.  We get fuller and fuller, and heavier and heavier of problems, issues and tiredness of living in a home that was never meant to be treated as our final destination.  Unlike the raindrops that fall across this earth, we each have a choice of where we fall.  Some will fall on the dirt and be swallowed up.  Some will fall in the desert and evaporate before even reaching the barren ground.  Those of the latter will earn their reward in full here on earth, in the storm cloud of Life.  They have become so absorbed in themselves and in the storm that will only last but a short time, that they lose sight of the larger picture of what life is all about. 
 
And then there are yet other raindrops who will fall into the ocean.
 
The ocean of Love.  Sure it’s just a metaphor.  An illustration of an idea.  A painting of abstraction.  Yet it is so much more.  Throughout time Love has always been and will always be.  People have died fighting for it.  People have sacrificed everything for the sake of Love.  Fighting against injustice.    Laying down their life for family and friends.  Feeding the hungry.  Sheltering the homeless.  Standing up against a bully.  Walking the extra mile just to carry the burden of another.
 
I believe that when I see Love in its purest, unconditional form in my everyday life, I am seeing billions upon billions of lives.  I am seeing all of those, since the origin of mankind, who have decided to live for Love.  People who have attached themselves to Love itself.  Through His Life.  When I see an act of kindness, I see those who have fought so hard to become love to others and done the impossible in the lives around them.  I may never know their names, see a full glimpse of what they looked like or know their story, but in a way I feel as though I know them better, see them more clearly, and understand their life stories better than most.  For these people, I believe that part of them will forever be seen whenever Love is displayed, no matter when and where in the future of mankind Love exists.  In the ocean of love they will forever live.  They have lived to become an idea and within that idea they will forever live. 
 
That is the choice that we all have.  To live a life after Christ’s.  To live a life after Love.  For God is love.  Love is the way, the truth and the life.  Sure, it isn’t an easy life.  It’s not a comfortable one.  Yet the pain of a short time for eternal bliss far outweighs simple pleasures in exchange for regret. 
 
So what happens to the raindrop that falls into the ocean?  The ocean of love?  Upon contact with it, the dust is removed.  It sinks to the bottom of the ocean blue, completely forgotten.  The single identity of that raindrop is no longer seen but now as just the ocean. 
 
I believe we can break clean.  I believe that we can crash in the waves of the ocean of Love anew.  I believe that we can forever been seen and felt in the idea of Love.  As the very character of who God is.  That by His grace, the ‘dust particle’ within us can be removed by the sacrifice Christ made, through his life of Love. 
 
One day, each of us can break clean.  Our mistakes and identity can be washed away, and we can be seen as the ocean of love for eternity.  Each of us can wash upon the shore of salvation, perfected by Love.  And until we find the shore, we live each day fighting to make the ocean just one drop larger.  For the ocean of love can never be too big.  Too deep.  Or too strong. 
 
--------------------------------------------

"Our lives are not our own.  We are bound to others, past and present,
and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."
 
-David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
 

 
 
"Maybe I could wash clean
Yea maybe I could wash clean
all my land-locked dreams
And maybe I could believe

We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean
I can feel your open arms
That pure emotion
I’m finally free again
Like my own explosion
We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean"
 
-Switchfoot, Saltwater Heart
 
 


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Wait?

 

"We are always getting ready to live,
but never living."
 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why?
Why wait?
 
Why wait to show the world your true colors?
Why wait to spread your wings?
 
Why wait to make your dreams become reality?
Why wait to open your mouth and sing?
 
Why wait to give yourself a chance to breathe?
Why wait to make the most of each moment?
 
Why wait to run and dance anew?
Why wait to befriend yourself; to stop being your own opponent?
 
Why wait to fight to crash in the sea of Love?
Why wait, holding back all that you are longing to say?
 
Why wait until tomorrow to be the all you know you can be?
There is no better time than now; tomorrow is just an extension of today.
 
Why Wait?
Why?
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Don't.  You have not a moment to lose.  Life is too short.
 
------
 
"Dream as if you'll live forever.  Live as if you'll die today."
 
-James Dean
 

 
 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

#NSEM

 
“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”  
 
-Arnold Bennett
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
" I'm going through changes...I'm going through changes...
 Lately I really, feel like I'm rolling for delph like Philly,
I feel like I'm losing control of myself, I sincerely,
Apologize if all that I sound like is I'm complaining,
But life keeps on complicating, an' I'm debating,
On leaving this world..." *
 
---
 
   As my vision slowly transforms from a blackness to a blur and then finally into a somewhat focused image, my brain is throbbing in my skull.  My hands ache instantly and I feel as though I have just broken ever bone in my entire body.  I feebly bring my right hand up to my right temple and as it departs from my forehead blood streaks down it.  I close my eyes for a moment.  Why am I back here again?  Yet again, I have made the same mistake and yet again here I lay broken, searching for light.  Maybe I’m not meant to get up this time.  Everything seems to be spinning as my eyes are still closed and suddenly a rush of nausea washes over my stomach.  I force the feeling down as something in my chest flutters unexpectedly.  I snap my eyes open and look ahead.  A white jagged outline above surrounded by clouds overshadows me.  The peak.  My goal.  I wanted so badly to just be there.  I wanted so badly to stand at the top, reach my hands as high toward the heavens as possible and scream at the top of my lungs for all to hear.  I wanted so badly to put my hands on my hips and look out over the world below, admiring all that I had overcome.  I wanted so badly to….ouch.  As I stretched my leg out, pain pulsed from within.  Bruises were forming across my arms.  My body seemed to be putting up an argument against the wants that my heart yearned to see fulfilled.  Maybe I was foolish to ever think that I, out of all people, could reach the summit so high above.  I don’t know if my body can take it anymore.  I laid down bringing my head to look over the cliff ledge that I had fallen onto.  Hundreds if not thousands of feet of jagged rocks, snowy caves and grassy hillsides lay below me.  Look at how far you have come.  Look at how much you have overcome.  Look.  As I watched like a hawk from above down at the once treacherous valley below me, the memories came rushing back.  Falling.  Scraping.  Swinging.  Screams.  Cuts.  Nervous slips.  Crying.  Yes, keep going.  Searing pain.  Ripped clothes.  Starving.  Yes, keep going, what else?  Bruises.  Sprains.  Depression.  Shyness.  Despair.  Yes, but then what?  Standing up.  Cleaning off.  Bandaging.  Healing.  Strength.  Growth.  Lessons learned.  Hope… There was that word.  I rolled over from looking at my past climbing path and once again let my vision focus on the peak.  I was going to get there.  I didn’t care what it took.  I looked at my scars on my arms, they didn’t look so much like failure anymore but rather reminders of my resilience and strength.  I moaned as I got to my feet and my legs wobbled like a fawn attempting to walk for its first time.  I walked back to my rope.  I readied my harness and made sure that my carabiner and belay device were in excellent condition.  I grabbed a tainted white rag from my pocket and swiped at the blood from my forehead.  I was going to conquer this mountain.  I was going to conquer the beast.  My eyes looked straight upward at the peak as I nailed my anchor as far above me as I could reach.  I stepped onto my familiar foothold and then whispered confidently to myself, “Here I go.”
 
                And just like that I was off.  My thoughts were now focused and there was no looking back.  My eyes darted across the surface ahead of me quickly searching for any possible crevice that I could dig my fingers into for a grip.  There.  No sooner had I spotted one, than my fingers were giving it company.  I smiled to myself.  Why hadn’t I seen that spot last time?  Before I knew it I was halfway up the sheer rock wall as my hands worked feverishly to ensure that I was always well anchored at all times in case of another misstep.  I felt like a well oiled and functioning machine.  My body, mind and soul were acting as one as I scaled foot and foot of rocky terrain.  I was finally getting somewhere.  A pride bubbled up like a spring from within.  I felt as though I was flying, set free from a self-created cage.  I felt as though I was a man, crippled from birth running for the first time across a field.  I felt as though my eyes were opening for the first time and color flooded my understanding.  I look a deep breath and the coolness of the mountain air dug deep into my lungs.  My past is history.  Buried and forgotten about.  I was going to make it this time, I knew it.  Once again, I had to find a spot for my left hand.  I looked around and for the first time I decided to really take in the details of my surroundings.  I was going to enjoy this moment.  A bird flew in the distance creating a small eclipse with the low evening sun.  A small plant grew from the side of a nearby rock crevice and seemed to be reaching all about for even a hint of a green friend to keep company with.  A small trickle flowed from a small hole to my left and the stream crept down the rocks creating a glaze.  My eyes followed the trick upward and my eyes found another gap where I could take hold of.  I thrust my body upward and to my left as my hand slid into place.  The transfer of my weight threw me off guard and soon most of my weight was hanging on my left hand.  My fingers dug into their chosen spot but the trickle of water made it impossible for a good grip.  My heart sank as I felt my fingers fall free from their position.  Everything was happening in slow motion.  I twisted my body around as I fanatically grabbed at my coarse rope.  I felt my fingers burning as gravity pulled me downward.  I let out a scream as I grasped tighter and tighter to a rope and saw my fingers bleeding from the friction.  I couldn’t hold anymore.  I let completely go.  My stomach found its way to my head as I sped toward the ledge below.  I looked up and saw the peak quickly getting further and further away.  The clouds looked as if they were gates, protecting the summit from anyone who dared get too close.  The corners of my vision started to darken and I knew it couldn’t be long before I hit the rocky base again.  So I guess this is what it feels like to die?  I guess this is what it feels like to utterly and entirely fail?  I closed my eyes.  A scream from within.  I could hear it for sure, yet I was numb to its sensation.  A pain erupted throughout my body and everything went black.
 
 ---
 
"Standing in the flames
And it's a beautiful kind of pain
Setting fire to yesterday
Find a light, find a light, find a light" **
 
---
 
      Electricity coursed throughout in the sky around me, flashing and booming showing off its power.  I shivered from the coldness that swept through the atmosphere around me.  Darkness lurked every which way I looked.  I was held in place in the air, just a speck of dust.  At my very core I was dirty and destined for desolation.  I had no heart.  Soon enough water droplets started to form around me and I found myself getting heavier.  Every bit of me longed to leave this place.  To be spared from chaos and depression.  Lightning sprinted in front of me mocking me and reminding me of the brokenness and disarray of the world I was born into.  I hung in the balance, seemingly frozen in time, watching drops slowly fall from around me.  Oh when would my time ever come?  Surely I could get away from this raucous and unstable environment for something better.  I felt my perfect form take shape and soon I found myself slowly lowering out of the position that I thought I would be trapped in forever.  I was falling.  It was first slow but then it gradually increased in speed.  I felt like a bullet plunging into a target below.  I felt like a parent searching for a lost child in a crowd.  I was on a mission and nothing was going to stand in my way.  I looked around.  My friends who I had once been silently hanging in the air with were speeding down with me.  I smiled.  I was free.  I was running.  Above me grey and dark clouds rolled maliciously as if angry that I found a way to get away from its realm.  I zoomed swaying myself back and forth enjoying the feeling of falling.  I was on a roller coaster ride of my life and I had never felt anything like this before.  Lightning streaked down to the earth below as if reaching out to grab me but it no longer had power over me.  I have weathered this storm.  No looking back.  I focused my eyes on where I was going to land below.  Nerves sprang into action within.  What if I landed on dirt?  What if I landed in a dirty city?  What if I landed in polluted stream?  What if I landed in…?  And there it was before me.  My heart leapt.  The one place that I had always hoped and dreamed of landing.  The ocean spread out for miles underneath me.  It’s foams splashed playfully in the winds of the current storm.  My soul rejoiced and a smile spread from one side of my droplet to the other.  I knew it.  I always knew it.  I chuckled to myself.  I was going to become the ocean.  This dust and dirty center was going to be washed away and forgotten.  I was only going to be remembered in the ocean of Love.  As the ocean of Love.  I was going to break clean in the waves of Love’s sacrifice.  I was going to crash anew in His grace and sacrifice.   Fio.  I was going to make it.  As I neared the ocean, I could feel its spray and my nose tingled with salty tenderness.  I was ready for redemption.  I was ready for salvation.  I was ready to attach to Love.  It's beauty nearly took my breath away but before it completely did I whispered confidently to myself, “Here I go.”
 
      As my vision slowly transforms from a blackness to a blur and then finally into a somewhat focused image, my brain is throbbing in my skull.  My hands ache instantly and I feel as though I have just broken ever bone in my entire body.  I feebly bring my right hand up to my right temple and as it departs from my forehead blood streaks down it.  I close my eyes for a moment.  Why am I back here again?  Yet again, I have made the same mistake and drowning in the same issues.  I am running in circles and yet again lay broken having fallen, searching for a light.  Maybe I’m not meant to get up this time.  Everything seems to be spinning as my eyes are still closed and suddenly a rush of nausea washes over my stomach.  I force the feeling down as my chest flutters unexpectedly.  I snap my eyes open and look ahead.  A white jagged outline above surrounded by clouds overshadows me.  The peak.  My goal.  I wanted so badly to just be there.  I wanted so badly to stand at the top, reach my hands as high toward the heavens as possible and scream at the top of my lungs for all to hear.  I wanted so badly to put my hands on my hips and look out over the world below, admiring all that I had overcome.  I wanted so badly to….ouch.  As I stretched my leg out, pain pulsed from within.  Bruises were forming across my arms.  My body seemed to be putting up an argument against the wants that my heart yearned to see fulfilled.  Maybe I was foolish to ever think that I, out of all people, could reach the summit so high above.  I don't know if my body can take it anymore.  I laid down bringing my head to look over the cliff ledge that I had fallen down onto.  Hundreds if not thousands of feet of jagged rocks, snowy caves and grassy hillsides lay below me.  Look at how far you have come.  Look at how much you have overcome.  Look.  As I watched like a hawk above down at the once treacherous valley below me, the memories came rushing back.  Falling.  Scraping.  Swinging.  Screams.  Cuts.  Nervous slips.  Crying.  Yes, keep going.  Searing pain.  Ripped clothes.  Starving.  Yes, keep going, what else?  Bruises.  Sprains.  Depression.  Shyness.  Despair.  Yes, but then what?  Standing up.  Cleaning off.  Bandaging.  Healing.  Strength.  Growth.  Lessons learned.  Hope… There was that word.  I rolled over from looking at my past climbing path and once again let my vision focus on the peak.  I was going to get there.  I didn’t care what it took.  I looked at my scars on my arms, they didn’t look so much like failure anymore but rather reminders of my resilience and strength.  I moaned as I got to my feet and my legs wobbled like a fawn attempting to walk for its first time.  I walked back to my rope.  I readied my harness and made sure that my carabiner and belay device were in excellent condition.  I grabbed a tainted white rag from my pocket and swiped at the blood from my forehead.  I was going to conquer this mountain.  I was going to conquer the beast.  My eyes looked straight upward at the peak as I nailed my anchor as far above me as I could reach...  
 
Wait.  Not again.  Not this time.  I looked to my right and began to walk around the ledge that I had fallen onto.  I had never even considered this route up the mountainside before.  I had never even considered a different route than the one that I had grown accustomed to taking.  I smiled to myself.  Let's try something different.  Let's try a new path.  Let's try again and then again and then again and never stop until we've made it.  Let's be the all you can be.  Let's start again in this moment anew.  Let's forget everything and accept this clean beginning of the now.  A chance for change.  Nothing ever felt so right as I stepped onto an unfamiliar foothold and whispered confidently to myself, “Now where was I, oh yea....
 
Here I go.”
 
 ---
 
 "Yesterday was the tornado warning, today is like the morning after
Your world is torn in half.
You wake and let's wait to start the morning process
Rebuilding and you're still a work in progress.
Today is a whole new chapter..."**
 
---
 
#NSEM
 
 
"And I just can't keep living this way
So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage
I'm standing up, I'ma face my demons
I'm manning up, I'ma hold my ground
I've had enough, now I'm so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now!" ***
 
-----
 
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
-----
 
"Each moment births a hope and a chance for a new start.
Change is ever present just within reach, just a prospective away, 
but too often we resort to a comfortable and numbing reality. 
Maybe we make the shekels that we fight so hard to break free from...
Freedom exists now in the New Start Every Moment brings..."
 
 
Start making them count. #NSEM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Eminem, Going Through Changes
** Eminem, Beautiful Pain
*** Eminem, Not Afraid

------------------------------
 

"Although today you may weep because you're weak and
Everything seems so bleek and hopeless
The light that you're seeking, it begins to seep in
....
And I'm pulling for you to push through this feeling" **

#NSEM

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getaway


 
 

"Is this not the true romantic feeling;
not to desire to escape life,
but to prevent life from escaping you."
 
-Thomas Wolfe

----------------------------
 
                                                          “Babe let’s getaway from this life.”
 
 
     Another day gone.  One day closer.  One more notch on my belt.  Just another number.  Live through the day, rinse and repeat.  I felt as though I had gotten stuck in an endless cycle.  Was I really getting anywhere?  A sneeze to my left startled me back out of my daydream as a faint mist congregated around my face.  As I offered the chubby man a tissue I couldn’t help but notice all of the sad faces around me.  They seemed to always be searching for something, endlessly tapping and scrolling on the screens of their phones.  What were they trying to find? Was it true love?  Was it attempting to make sense out of this life?  Was it just simply leaving the present moment, away from the reality of their problems, to get to a better, imaginative place?  If only I could read minds, I could hopefully make sense of the questions that fill my mind and see that I’m surely not the only one tired of this life.  The train screeched as it raced around the bend violently shaking us back and forward, as those standing braced themselves against the poles kindly placed throughout the train car.  A baby cried behind me and I heard a mother gently hushing it while tapping lightly on its back.  I looked to my right and found a preppy teenager probably around the age of nineteen years old.  He held his arms around his shoulders comforting himself from the loneliness and numbness that he surely held within.  We all had so many ways of hiding our insecurity and pain yet I could always see it so clearly.  It must be because of my years of unbearable personal pain, I shuttered at their lingering memories.  I felt as though I was aboard the train of gloom and doom.  I wanted to just jump from this train and run into Brandon’s arms.  He would make it all better.  He would tell me the words that I needed to hear.  As thoughts of his lips entered my head, I heard the announcement of my stop project through the car in the familiar, automated and dull voice that I had grown to hate.  But this time it was music to my ears.  It couldn’t have come soon enough.  I kindly pardoned myself through the crowd, having to push a few out of the way just to get to the door in time.  Why were people always so rude?  Life is hard enough as it is.  We’re all in this together. 

I found myself exiting the train’s mass of people and now entering a new one.  I ran up the steps from the subway hurried by the horde of people.  As I did, I walked right by a homeless man in tattered clothes attempting to sleep through all of this city commotion.  I couldn’t see how he could even close his eyes, as sirens shrieked by racing to the never ending emergencies and horns blared at daring pedestrians crossing the street inconveniently.  I started to imagine how he must feel.  Suddenly, I could feel my heart starting to race.  Oh no not again.  Focus.  After three seemingly endless blocks of maneuvering through street traffic, smelling street vendor’s overpriced food and dodging pedestrians too busy to look up, I found myself in the familiar elevator heading up to my floor where Brandon and I’s apartment awaited.  I felt my stomach turn over with each lighted number rising and then stopping to let others get out to their floors.  Sweat perspired down my forehead.  I hated small enclosed rooms. 

I closed my eyes.  Just imagine a better place.  Instantly I was, in my mind, floating through the clouds.  I swept my hands through them and marveled at their size.  Even through the glove that I wore, I could feel moisture seeping through as the cotton candy looking vapors dance through my outreached hand.  Below I could see the gigantic shadows that the clouds cast on the bright green flowing fields.  I was so happy.  So sure of myself.  Yet I knew that this wasn’t a memory.  Where had it come from?  I could see tiny dots slowly following in lines far beneath me and laughed knowing that each automobile driver was probably racing along while unbeknownst to them that I casually smiled down from above seeing what lay ahead for them as they slowly inched toward the horizon.  I felt something in my hand and looked down, someone was holding my hand.  I violently turned my head to the left to see but the sun reflected into my eyes, filling my vision with blinding light.  I shielded my eyes from the light and could begin to make out growing lines from the ground.  Skyscrapers?  Someone squeezed my hand?  Who was next to me?  My eyes begin to focus from the bright light.  “Sir?.....SIR?”  I opened my eyes.  The glaring and very apparently aggravated businessman in suit and tie right in front of me continued, “Are you getting off?  You hit for the 11th floor.”  My hands and feet begin to tingle as if falling asleep.  All I could muster up from within was a shallow and short, “thanks,” as I quickly scampered exiting the elevator.       

Finally I could have some peace and quiet.  I ran down the hall and burst through our apartment door.  There was Brandon stretched out on the couch as always.  He was the only way I ever got through any day.  I thought about him in meetings, when I was stuck in traffic, out for lunch, drinking coffee with my co-workers in the morning or crunching numbers at my desk.  He was always with me wherever I went, on my mind and in my heart.  I stood inside our grandeur apartment surveying the scene.  Brandon had his casual clothes on exhausted from his business attire and tired of completing his nightly chores.  I couldn’t wait anymore, I needed that touch.  I dropped my briefcase which startled him awake and raced over to him, slamming the door behind me.  Before he could get up I pushed him back down and sat straddling his chest, looking down…
 
 
"…Babe, let’s leave this city and getaway,
These feet tire of walking crowded streets,
These hands are calloused and bruised,
And my heart has accepted an impatient beat.
 
Can’t you see this city is slowly dying?,
Can’t you see these skyscrapers are built to fall?,
Can’t you see the poisoned, inflated egos?
Can’t you see all the masks, the masqueraded walls?
 
Let’s escape from the traffic and blaring horns,
Let’s escape from all the hurried suits and ties,
Let’s escape from the cluttered tunnels and subways,
Let’s get out of a taxi for once and be free of any eyes.
 
Let’s escape from all of the shallow sex and prostitution,
Let’s escape from the money, shopping and fame craze,
Let’s escape from all the bumps, jabs and congestion,
Let’s escape from this organized, hopeless maze.
 
These ears long to know of tranquility again,
These eyes are tired of opening to skies grey,
These lungs gasp to be filled with fresh air,
So babe, let’s leave this city and getaway…”
 
 
Brandon smiled at me, running his hand through my hair and just simply replied, “Let’s do it.”  It was that simple.  Goodbye smog.  Goodbye traffic.  Goodbye clubs.  Hello nature.  Hello serenity.  Hello life.  Not one tear ran down my cheek as I packed away all of our belongings in the next few weeks.  I packed away everything including Brandon’s vast and overbearing sneaker collection, every article of clothing that we had ever purchased, and all of my decorations that Brandon thought were a waste of space.  Soon our apartment looked like the skyline we went to bed watching together each night.  Skyscrapers of boxes filled the room growing higher and higher with each day.  While I didn’t have any hard feelings about leaving our metropolis behind, that last day was the hardest.  I had to say goodbye to co-workers that I considered good friends, and good riddance to the ones that I had grown to detest.  When I came home, Brandon was in tears.  He came up to me, wrapping his arms around me and said, “Babe, I’m going to miss this place, this is where we started our relationship.  This is our home.  I don’t know that we are making the right choice, I’m having second thoughts.  I just don’t know anymore.” I just smiled at him, stroked his smooth cheek with my hand and reminded him, “Babe, your home is right here…” I tapped my chest lightly. “in my heart.”  I reached up and kissed him on his head.  My words and kiss seemed to have calmed his worries and straightened out his thoughts because he never cried again over our decision. 

In no time we were laughing and feeding each other our favorite Italian lasagna.  Brandon always loved ‘missing’ my mouth and landing my bite all over my cheek.  I would curse and complain to him but he always seemed to know that I secretly loved it when he did.  I will never forget that night.  After our release we just laid there, all the lights turned out and cuddled in awe at the skyscrapers watching like guardians over us.  I just laid there staring at Brandon’s face.  Brandon was the cutest guy I had ever laid eyes on.  From the first moment that I saw him, I was captivated by him.  His black hair always perfectly combed to the side.  His charming eyes and breathtaking smile.  His cute laugh that could break any walls and turn any bad day around.  His genuineness and kindness that you could spot from a mile away.  How great he was with kids.  His athletic ability and sexy body that always had me drooling.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect guy to come into my life.  He was truly an answer to my prayers, an angel that fell into my world.  And I luckily got to go to bed each night with his arms around me.  Brandon’s face suddenly came to life and he pulled me close whispering into my ear, “Do you think there’s hope?”  “Hope for what, babe?”  “A better tomorrow.  There is just so much pain.  Is there any hope for humanity?”  I thought about this for a second, looking out at the never sleeping city abuzz even at this late hour in front of us.  I had never deeply thought about this before but I had promised Brandon I would never lie and I didn’t plan on starting now.  “Babe, I don’t know.  But you wanna know what I do know?”  “What?” “That for you and I, the answer is yes.  We’re gonna get away and leave this city far behind.”  He hesitated just for a moment and then broke out into a big smile as he pulled me closed, “You and I, will find hope through each other.”  “I know we will.”   Above the skyline, a faint star shot through the sky as we both faded into a deep, peaceful sleep in each other’s arms…
 

 
 
     BAAA BAAA BAAA BAAA BAAAA The alarm clock buzzed loudly in my ear and for the first time, I picked it up and threw it against the wall as it shattered to pieces.  Brandon woke up with a start, “What the heck was that for?”  I winked, “I’ve always wanted to do that, and today, I decided would be the day I did…”  I gave him a big kiss and pulled the sheets away from him, saying, “Time to rise and shine, sleepyhead.”  He hated how I always knew exactly how to push his buttons.  He groaned kicking me out of the bed and laughed as he pulled his pillow over his head, “Five more minutes pleeeeeease.”  And so I loaded our moving truck in the street below by myself as quickly as I could.  By the time I was nearly complete, Brandon was just waking up and rolling out of bed.  “Good timing,” I muttered.  Brandon just winked at me, “Why thank you! I had to let the early bird get the worm.”   “Oh don’t worry, I left a few for you.”  Brandon just rolled his eyes and stumbled toward the bathroom.  Within an hour we were driving down our street for the final time.  I could tell that Brandon was looking into the side view mirror not wanting to let go entirely of the past but for me I never once looked back, my eyes were determined straight ahead.  I had never been this excited to leave this dirty and crowded city behind.  
 
-----

Six hours of driving and we finally were heading up our long and winding driveway, as a large cloud of dust tagged along behind us.  Pebbles ricocheted from our spinning tires in every direction skipping along the slightly overgrown grass.  No more smog.  No more seas of faces.  It was just Brandon and I.  Just the way I had always wanted it.  Our car finally rolled to a stop and Brandon threw the truck’s emergency brake downward with a cccccrrrrrrick.  Although it took a few seconds for the dust to settle in the air, when it did we were met with a view that took our breaths away.  Our Victorian house with a wraparound porch sat next to us.  A frog from behind the garage hopped toward the backyard pond.  The tall and sturdy oak trees that surrounded our house swayed in the light breeze, as some of its leaves drifted to the earth below.  “Brandon, look!  It’s ours!”  Brandon just smiled at me rubbing my shoulder.  “You know, this is going to take a lot of work to fix up.  But you probably wanted it that way didn’t you?”  He chuckled softly to himself and then planted a small kiss on my left cheek.  I giggled like a little child, “Maaaaaaybe.  Hey, don’t you complain!  Now we can create our house exactly how we want to and put our own personality and character into it through our decorations!”  Brandon just rolled his eyes and pushed me playfully away, racing out of the car and toward the front door.  I pushed myself up off of the interior glass of my car door and let the stars spinning around my head come to a standstill, “HEY YOU!  YOU AREN’T WAITING FOR ME!”  I threw open my heavy truck down, jumped down landing awkwardly but effectively like a cat falling out of a tall tree and then broke out into a sprint toward the front door.  As I ran, I noticed that Brandon was no longer in front of me running toward the front door.  In fact, he was nowhere to be seen.  Surely, even with his speed, he would not have been able to make it into the house that quickly.  I ran past the giant oak tree in the front yard when… WHAM.  I had the air knocked right out from within me and lay dazed on the ground.  I looked up to see that it was Brandon that had tricked me, having hid behind the tree while I was busy getting out of the truck.  He always had a way of playing too rough but I wasn’t about to complain.  We both laughed uncontrollably as we wrestled in the front yard, rolling each other over and over as we got quite accustomed to the landscape of our newly bought land.  Eventually we both ran out of strength and breath and just lay next to each other, so happy to have one another.  Brandon turned his face into mine as we lay side by side, “You know what?”  “What chicken butt?”  Brandon gave me a stern ‘you really didn’t just do that’ glare.  “If I stayed here right next to you looking up at the sky for the rest of my life, you would never hear a complaint and my heart would never be happier.”  My smile grew and I let out a content sigh.  “And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Hey, I got an idea!  How about tonight we come back to this very spot and sleep underneath the stars.”  Brandon looked at me and now his smile grew.  He had become well accustomed to my weird and wacky ideas of having a good time but what could I say?  I loved creating memories that would last a lifetime, no matter how childish or crazy they seemed to the world.  “I think that sounds like a date to me,” Brandon concluded as he pinched my nose and took off toward the house.  Not again, I groaned, pushing myself from the ground and ran after him to explore our new empty house together.

                The rest of the day was full of boxes.  Honestly, I don’t want to see another damn box the rest of my life.  Brandon though had the best time watching and laughing at me while I fought and beat up a box that had irritated me.  I can proudly claim that I won, although I won’t be boxing professionally anytime soon.  We felt as though we were back in the city as towers of boxes climbed all around us once again, but not an inch of me missed that place. To me, it didn’t exist any longer.  Brandon unpacked the kitchenware and bedroom necessities while I focused on what I found most important, the decorations.  I wanted us to feel like we were at home.  Brandon would always move some of my decorations to see if I noticed (which I always would) because he knew that it drove me crazy.  I would just laugh at him and punch him in the arm, knowing that my OCD was hard for anyone to relate to.  But after a day of unpacking, exploring the pond behind our house, feeding each other our first dinner in our house by candlelight, failing to scare each other as ghosts covered in sheets, and stuffing packing peanuts down each other’s shirts, we found each other with a blanket in hand heading out to that spot that we had talked about sleeping at earlier.
      We placed one of our oldest sheet covered in dried paint stains down on the wet grass below and then both lay down on it pulling a hand knit quilt over the both of us.  There was nothing that I loved better than cuddling with someone who meant the world to me.  Although I was warm and comfortable under our blanket, my heart blazed even warmer feeling the love kindling between us.  I looked up and I felt the life flood through my veins.  I had never seen a sight like this.  I felt as though I had never lived a day in my life before.  The dark, swaying pine trees from the gentle night breeze framed the sky above us as the stars sparkled in the sky overhead like diamonds.  “Oh my God….” Brandon whispered.  I had never felt a moment like this before.  Utter silence.  Seemingly eternal peace.  The moon shone brightly above our heads.  We pointed for what seemed like hours toward the night sky creating our own personalized constellations and pretending to know which dots were various planets.  You couldn’t ever see the stars like this in the city.  I felt as though I was a few seconds away from speeding through space at light speed right next to Brandon.   I couldn’t hold back my feelings any longer and I looked over at Brandon pulling him close,
 
 
“…Babe let’s leave this world and getaway,
Let’s build our own spaceship and blastoff,
Let’s dip our fingers through the milky way,
Let’s soar high about this earth and scoff,
 
We can shower amongst meteors,
We can race against shooting stars,
We can display our love, a supernova,
We can explore the universe, near and far,
 
Let’s bury our problems deep within black holes,
Gravity no longer holding us down,
Let’s pick out our very own planet,
And rule as kings together, crowned,
 
Our love will fill up the all of space,
Our love will shine brighter than the sun,
Our love will explode through the galaxy,
Our love to any extraterrestrial will stun,
 
Let’s cuddle in the big dipper,
Let’s dive through solar flares,
Let’s dodge and hide amid asteroids,
Let’s travel at light speed anywhere,
 
Let’s doze off and sleep on Saturn’s rings,
Let’s orbit the solar system, astray,
Let’s crash land on the moon,
Babe, let’s leave this world and getaway."
 
 
And yet again, Brandon seemed to understand exactly how I felt as he simply replied, “Let’s do it.”  My eyes shut for just a moment as a pleased smile spread delicately across my face.  That night, we feel asleep in each other’s arms as our dreams took flight and the stars winked down at us from above.  I woke up the next morning with a feeling that I had never felt before.  The sun still rose.  Brandon still lay right next to me, his right arm still around me.  The birds still chirped their songs of renewal through my window.  But today I knew we were just months away from forever getting away from this place.  There was no time to lose, I slipped from underneath our damp blanket and raced inside to my computer and started researching the parts and materials that we needed to build our own personal rocket ship.  After my countless clicks and numerous phone calls of investigation, Brandon nonchalantly appeared with a cheerful, ‘top of the morning’ from the doorway carrying two mugs of coffee.  I spun around and started spewing all that I had newly discovered.  “We need to….We need to order….Have you looked into…What about….” Brandon just laughed and me, smiling at all of my ramblings.  He sipped his coffee patiently waited for me to run out of breath and words and then handed me my coffee, “Just a little heads up, I already have all of the parts on their way, I emailed my friend last night from my phone but thanks for all the information, Louis Armstrong.”  I wanted to punch him so hard but I just snatched my coffee and took a big gulp.  This was so typical of Brandon, always one step ahead of me.  I hated and loved it.  “So when do we begin?” I asked.  “We can begin right now…unpacking all of these boxes.”  He replied.  “No silly, I mean designing and constructing our rocket ship.”  Brandon just threw a box with the greatest amount of small and tedious trinkets in it to me and ran snickering away.

The next few months were no piece of cake.  They consisted of nursing bruises, cuts and blisters back to health after slaving all day fusing scrap metal, installing systems and hammering until my hands were nearly numb.  At night we spent hours upon hours drawing up plans, designing our logo and studying the manual.  Sometimes we would debate over dinner on the different features that we could install on our ship or compare notes on where we planned on traveling once we arrived in space.  Then the day came when our space suits arrived in the mail.  I ran all the way down to the curb to personally meet our delivery man with a hug.  “BRANDON!  BRANDON!  OUR SUITS ARE HERE!!! Come help me bring the box in.”  Brandon dropped the instrument he was using for building our rocket ship in the backyard next to our pond when he heard me and came running down at a speed that only a former soccer player could exhibit.  We must have looked like two small ants carrying a massive leaf too big for us, as we struggled to heave the box inside.  As soon as we got in, our clothes fell to the floor and we slipped into our suits.  I felt like a clumsy, immovable giant marshmallow.  I could hardly move when I attempted to just cross the room and instead landed with a ginormous splat on the hard wood floor.  Brandon tried to hold in a laugh but couldn’t as he finally let out a boisterous laugh, spittle flying in front of him.  My face immediately turned red with embarrassment until I saw Brandon slowly starting to lose his balance.  He soon became stuck to the ground next to me, staring helplessly back at me.  Now it was Brandon’s turn for his face to become red.  We were such hopeless fools in love and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  We were always so happy, self-amused and content just in each other’s presence.  As Brandon struggled to get back up, I tugged on his foot and pulled him back down into me.  I wrapped my arms around him.  “Hey all we need are some graham crackers and chocolate bars and we would be smores.”  He discretely winked at me, “Well, even without any chocolate you always do just want smore of me.”  I punched him for that even though he was right and as I did a reflection of something caught my eye’s attention. 

I saw reflected in the glass fishbowl-like helmet we had yet to try on, our rocket ship almost completed through our large kitchen window and instantly knew what I wanted.  “Brandon, let’s test our ship!”  Brandon’s eyes lit up.  “We actually could, I just put the finishing touch on the ignition plug when you called for me.”  After helping Brandon pull off his suit, we went outside, pulled down the restraining ropes and pulled out the remote.  Brandon explained to me, “Now for the test, the rocket ship is supposed to lift about 15 feet off the ground, rockets being about 25% ignited, and then slowly set itself back down.”  We crouched down into the little dugout that we had made to protect ourselves in case of an improbable disaster.  Brandon looked over at me, his eyes glowing with a boyish excitement, “Do you want to hit the button?  It’s all you.”  “Let’s do it together.”  With our hands intertwined our index fingers descended pushing the remote’s button to its limit.  We heard the engine murmur to life.  At first it was just a purr but it soon transformed into a roar as the ground began to shake.  I grasped Brandon’s hand more tightly as nervous excitement coursed through my veins.  I peeked my head out of our hole as flames began to grow from the rockets.  It was working.  All of those days of pain and frustration were going to be worth it.  Within seconds, the rocket ship rose off the ground trembling ever so slightly back and forth…1 foot…2 feet….3 feet….4 feet…and then black smoke started joining the flames igniting from the rockets.  Was that supposed to be happening?  The engine began to sputter.  The flames were soon replaced entirely by black smoke that pumped out as if coming from a fiery chimney.  The ship crashed back to the ground with a thunderous rumble, followed by silence.  Thick dark smoke clouded the entire area, rolling through the atmosphere as my heart sank at what had just transpired. 

I couldn’t believe it.  All these days.  Months of work, now worthless.  We weren’t going anyway.  There was to be no escape from this dying planet.  The stars would just mock us by night.  We were destined to be trapped in this rotting place.  I brought my head into the chest of Brandon and sobbed profusely, all of my frustration coming out in rapid streams.  And then anger boiled over, springing up from within.  I pushed Brandon away from myself and ran grabbing the spaceship’s manual throwing it out of focused rage.  I screamed at it, “You lie!  It’s all your fault!  Now we will never getaway…”  Brandon ran over to me and grabbed me before I could get another exasperated word from my mouth.  I collapsed into his arms.  He looked down at me from above, “I’m here for you, Andrew!!!  Do you think I would ever let you down?  I’ll fix it.  Give me a few days, I already think I know what the problem is.  Don’t you worry.” A peace-like tidal wave crashed over me.  How was it that he always was able to come through for me?  “I love you.”  I gave Brandon a wet, sloppy kiss on his cheek and he returned it with by giving me a devilish look.  I should have guessed what was coming next, knowing Brandon oh so well. 

Before I knew it I was flying out of the arms of Brandon, through the air and into our murky pond’s water.    As I came up soaked, I yelled, “I changed my mind, I hate you!”  A smirk only grew on his face as he raced toward the edge screaming, “I love you tooooooooo!”  Brandon landed with an enormous splash in front of me as a wave sprayed over my head.  And once again, Brandon had turned my anger to utter joy as we splashed and played in the water like two birds getting their weekly clean.  I wanted to capture this moment forever and revisit it whenever I was feeling down.  I had always wanted to do something ‘big’ with my life, but the older I got, the more I realized that it was the little things seen and felt in moments that most pass by unnoticing that really matter.  I simply tried my best to make the most of each one of them.  And this moment was no different.  It was so beautiful.  The way his face showed genuine happiness.  His dark matted hair and cheerful yet mysterious smile.  His sensual jawline.  The way his body showed as the wet clothes clung to his body.  How truly lucky I was to have found Brandon.  My heart floated far above me toward space but I didn’t worry about reaching up to grab it.  In a few weeks, I knew that I would be catching up to it.  As I looked at Brandon, I couldn’t help but wonder what he must have been like as a kid.  Somehow in that moment of him, as he splashed and pulled me playfully under the water, I knew that I was seeing a glimpse of who he really was.  We both never grew up but that was more than okay with me.  We were at peace, just in being ourselves. 

The next three weeks went easier than I had ever expected.  Brandon found the mistake the very next day and within a week we had successfully tested our rocket.  Brandon threatened me with a celebratory swim but I knew better than to let him soak me again.  I streaked back inside, locking our backdoor behind me and made taunting faces at him safe inside.  All of this planning had been worth it.  We were finally leaving for our destination.  We circled our date for launch on our calendar hanging from the refrigerator and went to bed each night crossing off that previous day while telling each other stories of all that we would do in space together, forever.  Time flew and before we even realized it, we had crossed off the last day before the launch.

------
 
That night I never even knew that I had fallen asleep.  I felt as though I was a little boy on the night before Christmas.  I tossed and turned, rolling and swinging my appendages about but to no avail.  Eventually after many sleepless hours, I saw the sun peeping through my window and onto our bed, so I got up quietly and went out back, sitting cross legged next to the pond.  I let the crisp air flow in and out of my lungs and just took in the view as the clouds hung like cotton balls wisped through the morning skies.  A deep soothing harmony fell over me as I looked into the waters that reflected the skies above me.  Just beyond those clouds was the universe.  We were finally going to escape from this world.  I casually dipped my toe into the cool waters, retracting my foot quickly.  I watched the ripples flow ever increasingly outward, a never ending relationship between cause and effect.  I wondered if this was how life was.  Where we merely the production of our environment and genetics?  Where we merely an accumulation of cause and effect?  Is free will just a necessary facade? While pondering these thoughts, the waters unexpectedly burst to life.  I saw flashes of guns, tanks and bombs exploding.  I saw fire raining down upon a destitute city that slowly smoldered to ashes.  I heard screams and saw people mourning and begging for life.  I knew instantly, that this was what was going to become of our world.  This world had been predestined to fail.  Yet at the same time we chose it.  We bit the apple.  We made life something that it was never meant to be.  But in all of these images flashing in the pond in front of me, Brandon and I were nowhere to be found. Deep inside I knew that we would be safe in the galaxies.  We would be out of here.  We would no longer be spinning in circles on this globe, but would be exploring lands never seen by any human eye.  I would watch the world crumble, collapsing on itself and burst in flames with the one person that I loved safe right next to me.  A bang on the window behind me woke me from the visions of disaster in front of me.  It was Brandon of course.  As my eyes met his, he brought his wrist up into eye sight, tapping on his watch.  It was time.

After a small and nervous breakfast full of awkward small talk between Brandon and I as our stomachs knotted tighter than ever before.  This was it.  There was no going back.  “You ready buddy?”  I nodded.  After putting on our huge suits yet again which we could now masterfully maneuver in and treading heavily to the back door, we found each other hand in hand before our massive rocket ship.  As I walked up to our gigantic spaceship I could hardly believe that this mass of metal and electronics would be helping us soar through the universe in a matter of hours.  I dared not look back at our house as the aircraft’s door lifted slowly as the sound of the churning gears filled my ears.  Thud.  The door had closed completely and now a silence burned.  “After you, kind sir…”  Brandon held out his hand ready to steady me as I made the climb up into the cockpit of our ship up the narrow and steep staircase.  He had always been such a gentleman.  I loved that about him more than anything.  I knew that he would always treat me right.  And I tried my best to reciprocate.  I took Brandon’s steady hand and made my way upward followed by Brandon.  Before I knew it we were both harnessed and strapped into our seats.  I reached over and double checked to make sure Brandon’s belt was secure and tight.  As I settled back into my comfy chair, I saw the picture I had brought to put into the cockpit of our ship of Brandon and I.  A tear slowly began to form in my eye.  We had each been through so much.  Too unlikely individuals that found each other in the perfect storm of life.  The picture was our first one together.  It was after we had spent hours practicing and playing soccer in a nearby field from where we both lived.  We were both tired and worn out from having to defend each other.  Brandon had lain down on a picnic table and I jumped up on top of it with him.  “Well since you lost, I get my picture with you.”  Brandon just laughed, “Pfffft, I never lose….but…..but….that doesn’t mean that there has to be a loser at all.  I just have a feeling that in a way we both might have won.”  With that he pulled me close into his body and held his phone out capturing us both squeezing each other playfully…  “Andrew!  Andrew!!!”  It was Brandon.  “Yea?”  “I just wanted to say that no matter what happens, I love you so much and I always will.  I wouldn’t want anyone else sitting next to me.  You are my other half.”  A smile filled my face.  “And no matter what happens Brandon…” I reached over and took his hand, “I love you so very much.  We are still very much both winners.”  Brandon let out a content sigh as I could tell the memory of our first time hanging out together rushed over him in a wave or remembrance.  “Let’s do it.”  My mind shut off to emotion and I began my auto pilot flight prepping take over.  Brandon’s hands darted about in front of him clicking buttons and typing in codes as I ran checks on all of the various systems that would have to be working together.  “Everything is a go for me” Brandon yelled as systems started to power.  “Me too.”  He gave me the thumbs up.  The same one that he had given me behind his families back the first time I met them to signal to me that they all approved of me.  I shook the memory out of my head.  “I’m going to go ahead and initiate launch.  Copy?”  “Copy.”  And just like that I heard that same purr and murmur of the engine that we had on the first test launch only this time it was coming from directly below us.  The small vibrations I felt from underneath got larger and larger and soon I was thrashing about in my seat still paying close attention to hit the necessary buttons in order to maintain stability.  Every part of my body seemed fused to that chair.  The rumbles nearly deafened me as I quickly looked toward Brandon as he held out all ten digits of his hands.  And so the countdown was on.

10.  The lights in front of me flashed and flickered about just as they were programmed to do and I double checked my seat belt once again.  9.  I took a deep breath as the air in the cockpit started to get warmer.  8.  I could feel my heart beat pulsing deep inside my marshmallow suit.  What if this mission went wrong?  7.  What if we exploded in the air and became a tragedy?  What if this was never meant to be?  6.  I looked out my little round window to my right at the vast farm lands all around.  5.  Black smoke seemed to drift up from below and slowly enter in my windowed vision.  I remembered what happened during the test run, panic struck me.  5. It wasn’t too late yet.  We could stop.  I reached over frantically to Brandon to alert him.  4.  He looked over at me seeing the panic in my face and I quickly pointed to my window.  3.  As I looked out there was no black smoke.  The clouds drifted on their own paths overhead.  2.  Brandon comforted my hand and then quickly pushed a few more of his buttons to clear the way for lift off.  1.  I stopped worrying and let my imagination take over.  In just a few hours we would be exploring the universe, the last real frontier.  Nothing could stop us now.  Impossible was nothing.  We were living proof.  0.  The engine ignited as I could feel our ship slowly leaving the ground.  The g force of our launch pressed me firmly back into my seat as the cheeks on my face were stretched back to their limit.  Within seconds I could no longer see the trees or pond in our backyard, only fields getting smaller and smaller.  The interior walls were shaking violently and sweat started beading on my forehead.  My heart began to race.  Just think.  I looked out the window yet again and saw the clouds quickly.  I smirked to myself knowing that even they were going to be far below where we were traveling.  My body trembled harder than it ever had before even though I couldn’t even move my head up off my headrest in order to look at Brandon.  I knew it would be quite a few more minutes until we could finally float effortlessly in space.  And that’s when it happened. 

I glanced out of the corner of my eyes and out of my small window.  Something was rising from the horizon.  I followed the lush green fields, growing smaller each minute, toward the darkened lines that reached high into the sky.  The memories came rushing back.  The teenage boy comforting himself on the train, I could have been a friend for.  The homeless man on the steps, I could have taken out for a meal.  The angry business man, I could have lightened his day for.  The images from the pond blasted through my head again and I now could make out their faces.  A baby wailed.  A sea of faces ran from a fiery rain.  People poverty-stricken, sick, crying, hurting, lonely, insecure, bullied, victimized, homeless, numb from life filled my head, all attempting to get away from their issues just like I was.  Maybe I was just like all of those passengers on the train, but instead of a phone I was using a rocket ship to escape.  I felt a wave of shame realizing that I had chosen to leave behind those who needed to see and feel love itself.  I wanted to see the world burn safely with Brandon.  How selfish was I?  What had I been thinking?  This world needed love.  This world needed Brandon and I, in whatever small way we could help.  It was not too late.  I knew what I had to do.  Clouds streamed by the window leaving trails of moisture that collected and ran off in packs.  I shakily lifted against the force of our blast off toward the picture of Brandon and I.  My finger was just inches away as I stretched as far as I could.  With a final push I was able to pull it free from the wall and I shoved it deep down into my suit.  The clouds soon parted and I was now just staring at the complete darkness outlining bright flashing lights.  It was as if time was standing still as the galaxy presented itself in front of me.  The view was so peaceful and breath-taking.  It was now or never.  I didn’t know how Brandon would react but I knew that I had to.  I reached down and flicked open the emergency eject panel.  I took a deep breath and pushed the button.  The ship tore apart around us with a horrendous noise of self-destruction.  Shrapnel metal flew in ever which direction as I watched the engine fuel tanks sputter away in different directions at rocket speeds.  I looked down and saw the hunk of metal nearly out of sight as gravity sucked it back down toward the ground.  My stomach was in my head as I fell spinning end over end.  Where was my drawstring?  I hadn’t even prepared for an ejection.   Up and then down.  Down and then up.  I spun harshly in dizzying circles as I tried to release my parachute.  My fingers clawed at the backpack behind me knowing that time, like usual, was not on my side.   Finally my finger felt a loop close to my side and it frantically pulled at it as I violently slowed to a near standstill in the air.  I looked up and saw my massive red and white parachute stretching to its full extent.        

  I was floating through the clouds.  I swept my hands through them and marveled at their size.  Even through the glove that I wore, I could feel moisture seeping through as the cotton candy looking vapors dance around my outreached hand.  Below I could see the gigantic shadows that the clouds cast on the bright green flowing fields.  I was so happy.  So sure of myself.  I could see tiny dots slowly following in lines far beneath me and laughed knowing that each automobile driver was probably racing along while unbeknownst to them that I casually smiled down from above seeing what lay ahead for them as they slowly inched toward the horizon.  I felt something in my hand and looked down, someone was holding my hand.  I violently turned my head to the left to see but the sun reflected into my eyes, filling my vision with blinding light.  I shielded my eyes from the light and could begin to make out growing lines from the ground.  Skyscrapers?  Someone squeezed my hand?  Who was next to me?  My eyes begin to focus from the bright light.  Brandon’s face appeared, a halo outlining his head from the sun, and an all knowing smile slowly emerged on his lips.  Brandon squeezed my hand again as if he knew this whole time that this was going to happen.  As he did, I noticed my aching hands and sore arms.  Life wasn’t made to get away from.  Oh if I could just have the time back that I spent building this space ship and moving into the country, just think of all the memories Brandon and I could have created, and the people’s lives that we could have transformed.  And instead what did I have?  Just an aching body and a soul yearning for more.  Well perhaps more could be found right here on earth.  Perhaps it was time to wage a war against time.  To make the most of each moment.  To love a little more.  To smile a little bigger.  To laugh a little louder.  As Brandon and I slowly drifted downward still holding hands, I twisted off my helmet throwing it below me.  I reached over and removed Brandon’s as well so that he could hear me.  I leaned over pulling his body toward mine and looked directly into his bright, lively eyes,
 
 
"Babe, let’s not let life getaway,
Let our war cries against time be heard,
We don’t have a second to lose,
Throw out my selfish plans, so absurd,
 
We will show the world a love it’s never seen,
It will be a north star for the lost,
We will feed the hungry, and shelter the homeless,
We will save our city, no matter the cost,
 
We will make the most of each moment,
Capturing and savoring them in our minds forever,
Never again will I waste time trying to escape,
Back to metropolis, with new eyes for endeavor,
 
All I ever need is you by my side,
No more running, just living to die,
I now know life’s true battle,
To not let a moment slip by,"
 
 
      We embraced each other tearfully in the air and our lips met together birthing the most fulfilling kiss of my life.  As we departed from our caress, I paused for a moment with my mouth beside his ear and whispered…
 
                                                           “Babe let’s not let this life, getaway.”

----------------------------

 
 
"To prevent life from escaping you
Not to desire to escape life,
Is this not the true romantic feeling;"
 
-Thomas Wolfe






 



"I'm a space bound rocket ship and your heart's the moon,
And I'm aiming right at you
Right at you
Two hundred fifty thousand miles on a clear night in June,
And I'm aiming right at you
Right at you
Right at you"


-Eminem, SpaceBound

-------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't wanna let a minute get away
Cause we got no time to lose
None of us are promised to see tomorrow
And what we do is ours to choose

Forget about the sunrise
Fight the sleep in your eyes
I don't wanna miss a second with you
Let's stay this way forever
It's only getting better if we want it to

You know that I wish that this night would never be over
There's plenty of time to sleep when we die
So let's just stay awake until we grow older
If I had my way we'd never close our eyes, our eyes, never!"


-Adam Lambert, Never Close Our Eyes