Saturday, April 6, 2013

By a String

At age fifty-one, I am too you young to stop playing. The four helium balloons I was given for my birthday were my source of entertainment throughout the day. Each balloon came with a long white ribbon. I knotted them to bundle the balloons, cut three off, then tied them end-to-end, making one long strand.
While sitting on the bench, waiting for the girls to arrive at the office, I made a game of reeling out the kite-like-ballon-bundle into the changing currents of wind that swirl to-and-fro under the ceiling of the plaza walkway. Never touch the ceiling. the ground or the front of the building was the rule. Letting the ribbon in and out as the balloons danced and twirled high and low. Occasionally I'd keep them from getting sucked up to the mansard porch roof-face or they would drift far enough out to be sucked into the vortex and spin for few a moments. Eventually they would escape the edie and drift calmly to the wall and bound by my face to the inside corner of the "L" shaped storefront.
One by one the balloons met their end. The first separated from the string floating first to the ceiling, then up, disappearing around the roof line. The second and third sliced holes by scraping on the ground when I was away. The last one was not going quietly. The wind grew strong at the end of the day . There are doors at the front and rear of the office. We had opened the rear door for a few minutes when I noticed a cross breeze. The force of the wind had blown the front door open and the forth balloon was wedged holding the heavy metal and glass door open. Even after having most of its contents pressed out it weaved and bobbed until this morning. It had loosened from the bench and lay in the puddle a few feet away. Just now it swirled up from the puddle, rose up and away over the rooftop, string and all.
I know there is no excuse for a grown man to play with balloons, or fly kites. It is not something a grown person should excuse themselves from either.
Have a fun weekend!

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