Dedicated to: my peeps and Chewy
Who’s to say where the wind will take you
Who’s to know what it is will break you
I don’t know which way the wind will blow ~ U2
P ran, his hair trailing behind him in the wind. He looked over his shoulder and tripped a little on a jutting root; he picked himself up and sprinted for the field. A bruise from the day before was tender on his shin but forward he went.
Everyone else followed, squinting into the sun and tasting the peanut butter on their lips from lunch. They looked out from underneath their eyebrows to the open space filled with air and bugs and pollen and wind. Past the tree with crispy winter leaves they ran. Over dusty dirt and trash and weeds into the world they went.
P smelled like sweat and dirty socks, his clothes hung off his skinny frame with a flourish. Pumping his arms, he could feel his heart beat harder and faster and his breathe came quick. But his mind saw the plastic flitter in the sky, with a back drop of blue and white, specked with sun. He could feel the twine between his fingers and the spool un-winding farther and longer until the inevitable dive bomb that meant untangling the line from the pear trees ringing the field and digging burs out of socks and shoes.
The kids behind him were a flailing mass of brown motion; screaming and yelling things P couldn’t hear. P’s mind jutted out into conscious thought and the word Kite repeated itself over and over; he ran past the gopher skeleton without even seeing it, and ripe fruit on the trees was just a smell in the air.
Some days, P could just sit and drum his fingers on the bench, pick the dirt from under ragged nails, or bite the skin from a chapped lip. Other days the kids wouldn’t leave him alone until a game of make believe took them to invisible lands. One time all the imaginary friends fought a brutal and bloody battle from which they did not return. Today P would touch the air.
After it was over, the darkness sent them packing. The cold took them slowly back to where they had come from. A can ringing from a kick in the night and his toe aching from the impact, P trudged forward, nothing to show for the day and only a glimmer of thought for the next election.