Tuesday, October 12, 2004


When I was about eight, I was convinced that I used to be able to fly. I knew because I had vivid memories of being able to do it, and those memories were so specific and so clear that I was certain that they must have been true, however peculiar they were. In fact, it was their very peculiarity that convinced me: I had to go to a certain part of the hallway of our house - a rather average, and otherwise suburban ranch style Levitt one-story- and do a handstand. The hallway was not very long; at the far end, there was a dogleg to the third bedroom, which was mine, and at the near end, it was ninety-degrees bent toward the front door and an L-shaped coat closet, which made an excellent hiding place for hide-and-go-seek. As I walked down the hallway on my hands, if I went fast enough, I would levitate off the floor, and eventually really start flying around, albeit upside down. Of course, I had to be very careful, because if I fell over, I would drop to the floor on my head. It was the utter uselessness of being able to fly upside down that convinced me that this wasn't a dream.
At some point, though, I clearly lost the ability. I wasn't sure if it was because I couldn't do handstands anymore, or if the ability to fly in general had somehow evaporated. I even have a vague memory of once asking my mother a question which tangentially mentioned "back when I used to be able to fly."
When I started doing capoeira two years ago, and trying to learn how to do handstands, I started remembering that memory again. I still haven't mastered handstands, although if I ever get the opportunity to go back to playing capoeira again, I'll certainly make it a priority to learn. After all, what if I discover that I really can fly?

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