Hello my name is Paul Eno and I’ll be your writer this afternoon.
     Sorry that’s a strange way of introducing myself I know but it’s a hard habit to break. I introduce myself like that in most situations: Hello my name is Paul Eno, I’ll be your breakfast companion this morning, I’ll be your son in law this afternoon, I’ll be your driver this evening, etc. It’s funny but once you get the taste of power that comes from an introduction like that over a plane’s intercom, you want more and more of it. And then after a couple of years of flying, you kind of get bored with the whole affair but you continue introducing yourself like that for almost all occasions.
   Pilots are a funny breed.
   Unfortunately, I’m bored with my job and so lately I’ve been cloud gazing and trying to imagine what kinds of personalities I can carve into the clouds that I fly through, under or above. Oh it’s easy to fly a plane once you get the hang of it and you’re left with a lot of free time on your hands to pursue hobbies and interests. Ping pong, painting (very popular among pilots at West Jet) or just learning a new language on tape. Well I enjoy gazing off into the horizon in search of a cloud that’ll look like somebody. So yes a couple of days ago I saw a cloud that looked like George W Bush and after I looked carefully into the contours of that cloud, well a story seemed to come out of its mouth and I wrote it down. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of months and I didn’t want to release my real identity for fear of being fired but you know what I realized this morning ? Fuck it. You only live once and if Bruce Dickinson can be a heavy metal musician and a commercial pilot well then I can be a pilot and a writer of fiction. 
    Here’s today’s story…

What Goes Up

since feeling is first who pays any attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you    – ee cummings

    Leaning his body over the edge of the lazy-boy, D sipped softly from the top of his herbal tea. A steaming spill trailed down the edge of the mug and into the deep below of blue. D glanced down to make sure it didn’t drip on anyone. There were a few red and yellow colored balloons below but nobody directly beneath. He looked up and noticed the large numbers above and he realized that in his attempts to write a poem he’d descended below the pack. He pulled on the blue cord and he started to feel himself rise. 
   He placed the mug into the holster which stuck out from the soft and fat arm of the lazy-boy. A brown cord that haloed the end was starting to fray. D picked up the notebook from the middle of his lap and he put his pen back to the page. 
   He was a poet. After all he was drinking tea. He was a poet who mused: 
   In a world of luxury and ease and breath-taking views at every angle, how do you compose anything worthy of someone’s attention ?  How could he compete with the clouds that so effortlessly held up all manner of emotions and feelings ?  What words would be needed to get her fingers to reach out to his ? That intense moment of titillation, of everything funneled along a bridge of finger-tips holding up feelings in the sky. D had heard that a rubbing of the finger-tips led to a wetness in the crotch. He wondered.
   But he couldn’t even hover smoothly alongside anyone anymore. Not since his voice broke. He tried to think of a word that rhymed with thunder. Frightened thunder. Someday H would be his, D suddenly thought to himself. 
   He lowered his pen to the touch of the page but there was no movement.
   A mile away upwards and eastwards, H spit her gum out over the edge of her lazy-boy. She hoped the ball of pink would land in the eye of a seagull or any other bird guilty of shitting on them before the Time of Great Move Upwards. Although maybe those were just funny stories. Who knew ?  All H really knew was that she was bored senseless.  She stuffed another gum into her lip-sticked mouth. When she wasn’t bored she longed to feel the touch of a body against hers but in their world of floating lazy-boys over a world of oceans, there wasn’t a hope in hell of saddling up to someone head to toe.  How could she even dream of such a retarded thing ? First off, the bump of the balloons wouldn’t even permit for the proximity of a kiss on the lips. Kisses were only passed along on finger-tips but all the boys in the sky were jerks who’d just slapped her hand away in the past. The only boy interested in touch was D but he was too wrapped up in the words and worries of his head to navigate the six colored cords steady enough to keep them floating alongside each other.
     And he was the biggest nerd in the sky. He spent all day trying to string his nerdy words together into crappy poems. If he would just reach his arm out.
    H’s legs rubbed together and she thought of a large balloon that could hold two when suddenly her chair bumped onto the top of a red balloon. It was a test tube baby chair whose navigation system must’ve been on the fritz. Future generations were guaranteed by the test tube babies in floating wombs that were timed to trigger every decade. The sky was littered with these floating wombs set on auto-pilot.  H spit her gum out onto the round panels of red. The gum bounced three times and then fell into the blue nothing below.  She wished she didn’t have this strange feeling sticking in her like the thorns that she’d read about in books. Maybe this feeling was a fable just like those thorns that supposedly lived on the ground.  She tried to wish her way back to boredom.
   She hated summer vacations and tried to think of the cluster of balloons of school that would be back in two weeks. Everyone floated so far away in the summer. Even D felt like he was miles away.
   “H” she heard her mom calling from the great emptiness above.
   The sun came out from a cloud and touched her red cheeks.