Last night, Jared shot off the beach and into the atmosphere without a sound. He looked like a true superhero, with one arm tucked to his chest while the other arm led the way, and both hands balled into fists. I laughed out loud and then he was gone. With both hands shielding my eyes from the sun, I scanned the clear blue sky for his shape. He was too fast, too far away, too high up, and I couldn't find him. I stood on the beach with the surf washing over my ankles, waiting for him to return. A chuckle in my ear and a tap on my shoulder told me he was standing behind me in the water. I hadn't heard a splash, felt a whoosh, or sensed a thud. My little brother was graceful, quick, and strong, a real veteran at flying.
"Want me to show you how?" He asked.
"Ok, it's easy. Strike a pose to look cool, then jump into the air and imagine the ground falling away from you." Jared stood beside me and struck a pose, gesturing for me to mimic him. I did my best, arms crossed over my puffed-out chest, chin jutted with a frown on my face, but it wasn't very convincing. I felt like a kid learning to box from his hero-big-brother.
I closed my eyes, jumped into the air, and fell back to earth. He laughed, and the sound of it made me laugh. We lay on the beach in hysterics for several minutes, and I clung to the happiness like the sand to my wet skin.
Soon he had me back on my feet, striking poses.
"You have to find the one that fits you, that's important."
"Seriously? You can't fly without a pose?" I asked like an idiot.
"Sure, but why would you? To fly without a pose is just flying."
"Well then what is flying with a pose?"
"Living!" And with that he shot off the beach and into the air once again.
I watched him for just a moment, then struck my pose; fists poised for combat, feet planted firmly, head tilted back, face to the sky. A knowing smile on my lips, I imagined the beach falling away from me as I shot into the air.
This time the beach did fall away, and I was flying. Jared circled back and flew beside me. We sped through the sky, diving, looping, tricking, and laughing for what felt like hours until my alarm went off and I woke up.
Why is this happening to me? The fantasy of my dreams is bleeding over into my reality, confusing the hell out of my waking hours. It was fun to fly, and words cannot do justice to what it was to spend time with Jared, but I am a husband and father, with many years of loving responsibility ahead. Can I spend those years with one foot in dreams, the other in reality? Were sleep not so elusive for me, I might fear of the day coming when that is all I want to do.
Of course, these questions may well be moot; my dream-self (with a little help from Jared) could just be trying to tell me that it is time for me to strike a pose and live.