I almost chickened out, but no,
it all went well enough,
the perfect forward roll.
Only when the thrill
had shaken me
and then passed on,
only now I realise...
how far too far above the earth
I am... and how too fast the spin.
Too far, too fast by far for me, so
stretch out, full length,
that’s the way to slow the spin...
Now try the ripcord once again...
Damn. No joy! Bird following,
been there some time...
too high for birds... surreal.
I looked that up on Google yesterday:
"The most surreal thing ever."
Pages of it. Utter crap, the lot.
Not one surreal event,
not one surreal occasion there.
So how surreal is this? And will
I ever know? The waterfall that time...
swept over like an autumn leaf, I was...
should have been a gonner. Thought I was.
Top to bottom. Rocky all the way.
This thing that's s'posed to happen
seconds before you die... your whole
life flashing past your eyes...
It didn't happen.
Not then, at the waterfall.
And not now.
I survived the waterfall.
Good omen, eh?
I will survive again. Quod
erat and demonstrandum and all that!
And the bird swoops past
still chirping: "Much too fast.
Slow down a bit! Slow down!." But Hell!
he's right. I'm even leaving him behind...
Large flock of birds appearing now -
far as this or any eye can see.
A sea of chirping beaks and beady eyes
and out of those melodious beaks comes...
unbelievably, a motif from my
new concerto scored for flute and choir!
Time I got back. No sooner thought
than I am back inside the hall - just like that!
Above the audience, above the spot lights,
heading for the stage. The choir still
there, still singing the first movement's theme,
so not missed much. A perfect
backward roll to land beside the rostrum.
The bird was totally correct. I'm going
much too fast. The conductor struggles
to keep up. But now the trip is over,
I'm in command again - at least of me.
I slow it down and hear
the maestro and the orchestra
sigh from sheer relief.