hi, i’m icarus, i’m falling
every since i was little, i wanted to fly. i used to have these dreams about being a bird, and i would wake up on the floor next to my bed with bruises covering my arms.
ever since i was little, i wanted to escape.
when i turned fifteen, i asked my father for a pair of wings.
the wings were constructed, twice my length in width and half of it in height, of feathers. cemented in wax. colors that would make you feel like you were already flying. i could feel them on my skin from across the room.
he instructed me to pray over the feathers. to the gods of Anemoi, for an alliance with the wind, so that i should never be forced into a storm.
he instructed me to avoid the sun, to avoid the sea. “stay away from anything that glitters. it’s a trick.”
what it feels like to soar:
- butterflies colonizing your stomach
- everything i’d ever wanted
- rebellion wrapped around your ankles
sensation overpowered warning. the sun felt warm on my back, warm on the wings that were so much a part of my body i could feel with them as well as i could with the skin on my arms. the ocean shimmered, beckoned me from down below. helios winked at me, asked me to come closer.
by the end of it all, i guess i considered myself a god, too succeeded to heed caution. i flirted back while he sent flames sadistically down my back. me, too struck by power to notice the feathers falling into the sea. one by one like little birds, they chirped. like little sirens. follow me, they chanted. follow me. to the sea, to the sea.
so i did. i flew up, said hello to the sky, thanked him for having me. up, up, up. until i lost my balance. i was sailing, ascending, it felt too good to stop. falling, even, tasted magnificent.
you forget everything when you’re falling. take that as metaphorically as you please. i forgot that i was alive. i forgot that i could die. in retrospect, i should have seen it coming.
i mean, i did, literally. the waves rushing up towards me. i could smell the salt. i could feel the waves, rocking me, away, away, away. i knew what was coming, really. i knew how the ocean would feel on my skin, how my feathers would look, circled around me like a halo for my whole body. i just didn’t account for the water in my lungs, that’s all. i forgot the suffocation.
it didn’t feel much like dying, but then again, i’ve only died once.