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Fly Away

My hair is getting longer and it's to the point now where I either need to cut it or commit to it for the fall and winter. Those are the options. There is no in-between.

Often, when I feel squeezed I just close my eyes and fly away. Call it the fight or flight impulse kicking in, or my overactive imagination taking over while my sensible side, meager as it is to begin with, checks out and leaves the bags behind.

Whatever the case, when this happens I can pretty easily disappear. Sometimes I write, or I sink into a song or a book I know well. In extreme cases, however, I fly away.

Not long before I conjured my alter-ego in the form of a child-like cartoon of a spaceman occupying his purple-and-green, single-seater coupe de' cosmos spaceship and travelling the infinite unknown, I drew this: a helicopter. Kind of. It is rudimentary and bubble-shaped and it floats or drifts through the sky more than flies as it's tail pipe putters out puffs of (environmentally-friendly, of course) marshmallow clouds.

It is reminiscent of, or more accurately, an amalgamation of my childhood influences in the Sunday comics. You can guess which ones, I'm sure. But for me, it is what my hand drew that day of the image that my imagination saw without telling my brain, And when I looked down after it was done, I saw what you might see. Only I saw it for an instant and then I was transported, inside it. Not taking a moment to look round the interior or to familiarize myself with the controls -- my brain still doesn't know what the inside looks like or how to fly it -- but my imagination does.

From the inside, I only see outward. And not what's below me but what is beyond it. Wherever I am going, I am already there, my body is bringing up the rear to transport this very vehicle it occupies so it will be there when and if I wish to return.

That's it. It is that simple. I imagine. I draw. I disappear.

Want a ride? Hop in and throw on a head set. Maybe in your imagination we'll have a nice chat as we fly along and I'll point out some familiar landmarks. But in my imagination, don't be surprised if I don't answer. My mind is on the controls and on whatever awaits us when we get where we are going. I'll gladly bring you along, but when our trip is over and I get to the launchpad and set this puppy down, I'm doing one thing and one thing only.

I will climb into my spaceship -- room for one only -- and fly away.

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