Home > fuck > They’re not all silver linings

They’re not all silver linings

Clouds are funny things. Some days you hate them for dumping snow and rain on you, and other days they’re a wonderful respite from the sun. Occasionally they’re terrifying, firing electric bolts at the ground or forming into swirling nightmares. But when you’re above them in a plane, they look like pillows. No matter their form – wispy, fluffy, walled, imposing – clouds are a central part of people’s lives, though they don’t ever take much time to consider them unless there’s some outstanding reason to do so. Not me. I’m always thinking about them.

It all started a few years ago when I had begun dating a woman I met online. We had really hit it off through messaging, and things went even better once we finally met in person. I was completely smitten and trying not to move things along too quickly, though it was clear she felt the same. Early on in our first text conversations, she had mentioned the desire to ride in a hot air balloon someday, which she had dreamed of since being a little girl. So for our fourth date, I suggested that we have a picnic in the park, but left out what I had planned for dessert.

We ate some lovely sandwiches she had prepared, then I led her on a walk to a different section of the park, where there were hot air balloon rides on offer. Why not have dessert in the sky? I offered, and she was thrilled. I produced a small cake and silverware from my backpack, and we climbed aboard. Right away, the rapidly-increasing distance from the ground and seeming ease with which one could accidentally plummet into it had me nervous, though I did my best to conceal it because she was riveted by both. This was a dream come true for her and it made me ecstatic to have helped achieve it.

At some point, I unwrapped the cake and was about to start slicing it with my knife, when I noticed we were about to fly through a cloud. Thinking it would be funny, I waited until we were right upon it and said to her, “Ever seen a guy stab a cloud before?” She had the type of sense of humor that this appealed to, and it’s true that she laughed, so I reared back my arm and made like I would knife it just as we were entering. The balloon operator made a sound of protest, but thinking he was joking as well, I plunged my arm forward, putting the blade into the cloud. To my dismay, the cloud screamed, which was a piercing, awful sound, and then plunged to the ground with alarming speed. The operator began berating me as my date gaped in horror. I couldn’t understand it.

Our descent was fleeting, though the operator never stopped chastising me for its duration. Once aground, I noticed there was a small patch of fog not far from the balloon stand, and with morbid curiosity, I wandered toward it, my date now following at a distance. I was still unable to process what might have happened and if I couldn’t be hallucinating the whole thing. Nearing the fog, I heard a sound I can only describe as a steamy wheeze that came in short bursts before stopping entirely within a minute or so. After that, the fog simply dissipated into thin air over the course of maybe thirty seconds. I was dumbfounded. We walked back to the car, neither of us saying a word and her making a point not to look at me.

She wouldn’t return my calls following that day, and I doggedly kept at it for a week before my larger problem became undeniable: the clouds were out to get me. For three days, I didn’t see the sun, even on the cloudless days because I was being followed by small cumuli, maybe five feet cubed. Just enough to shadow one person. When I finally dared to look up and curse one, it whisked itself away and I abruptly found myself staring at the sun, leaving me half-blinded for hours, the bastard. Ever since, some small cloud has been casing me every moment I’m outside, and I’ve had to start going to a tanning salon to avoid looking like a vampire.

I saw her the other day across the street, and resisted dashing through traffic for her attention to the chagrin of my heartstrings. But there was the cumulus, always shading me, and I knew better than to make her relive that day again, let alone repeatedly if she went anywhere with me now. Because it’s not just the cumuli. I have a cirrus bumping into my window five times a night. The nimbi chuck all kinds of shit onto my car if I can’t garage it. Clouds are a tight community, and they’re not in any mood to forgive me. I’ve done my best to keep on living, but I can’t help being inside as much as I can these days. She would have hated that.

Categories: fuck
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.