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number 5

Learning to Fly

by Porter Mason

On the way to work today I discovered that I could fly.

It was quite by accident really. I tripped over my own feet, as I often do, but in my flailing on the way to the ground, I caught a solid gust of air and suddenly I was aloft.

At first, I wasn’t very adept at the whole process. I had little or no control over my speed or direction. I’d flutter this way and that; I was the object of much ridicule from nearby birds. But I was a quick learner. Soon I came to realize that it was not the flapping in my arms that kept me in the air, but my belief in myself.

I was flying because I felt good about me. Realizing this was an incredible epiphany. I lost all wants and desires. I existed just to exist. I came to understand that the birds shared my joy. They, as all things in nature, existed together, everywhere at once. Their laughter had not been mocking; they knew I was bound to achieve their same level of spiritual satisfaction. They were laughing in happiness that a new being was entering their consciousness.

I became aware of all the secrets of nature and the universe. I achieved complete and utter happiness and calm. I understood that all humans possess the ability to exist in one mind, that all evolution is leading toward this goal. I was filled with hope and joy beyond my wildest dreams.

I bid adieu to my avian adversaries and landed outside my office building.

As I walked in I noticed it was 9:42. I had left my apartment at 9:00. It took 42 minutes to fly to work. I can take the subway and get there in 30.

I never flew to work again.

Porter Mason has been writing and maintaining the humor website (where this essay originally appeared) for almost three years. He lived in New York, but recently moved to Virginia Beach to pursue cartooning.

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