aNewDomain — I awaken. I am in the sky. The world is spread out below me like a lesson, naked, creased and grooved. The sky is brutal, an unforgiving blue that conceals night behind it but nothing else. I can’t see the sun.
I am falling. It feels like nothing. I did not accelerate to this speed. Like a photon, I was born to it. I emerged into it. A baby born in the back of a car doesn’t have to run to catch up to its mother.
The world turns and draws us with it.
I was created falling.
One hundred fourteen miles per hour. Six minutes to live. Wind rushes through my hair over my body. I am as nude as the world below. And who is there to see?
The ground seems absurd from here.
My destiny is like a painting of itself.
Cold air blurs my vision but I see it perfectly. That bit of ground, right there, that is where I will die, leaving a smear like a Rorschach test, an ambiguous stimulus to test the unwary.
But my life is unambiguous now. It started a minute ago and will end five minutes hence.
I try to feel something. Terror at this creation. Anger at the empty sky that still offers no absolution for sins I don’t quite recall. But nothing comes. Neither grief nor rage nor memory.
I was not, I am, and soon I will cease to be.
I could spread out my arms and legs against the rising wind and perhaps fall more slowly. A hundred eight miles per hour rather than a hundred fourteen. A few mores seconds of existence to ponder its opposite. I could put my feet together and clasp my hands behind my back, create a profile like a diving seal. I do neither. The end cannot be avoided, but why hurry it along?
Tears stream up my face, not all of them dragged out by the wind. A feeling has come to me after all: an absurd gratitude for all this beauty. For the revealing sky and the revelation of the earth.
Patchwork, they call it, squares and circles of crops aching upwards towards the sun, towards me. No hurry, corn. No hurry, wheat and sugarbeet.
I will be there soon.
I want to look behind me. Is the sun there after all? Did I imagine it existed?
ine, only furious turbulence at my passage.
Don’t blink. Don’t shut your eyes. Time is so short now. It always was too short but I couldn’t know it, not like this. Speed and distance and math give you time but mathematical time isn’t like that bit of rock down there, hurtling towards my head.
Mathematical time is abstract while that rock is finite and granular.
I wonder if it will hurt. Silly idea.
It won’t hurt long enough for me to know it.
I wonder if I will remember falling. If I will awaken again in some new sky.
But I can’t turn around. Even if I could, it would mean taking my eyes off of the world in front of me, and I feel unwilling. There is nothing behind me. I feel no sunshine and long for another moment.
To slow this fall. I will spread my arms.
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