I came home to my apartment building and found a large technical manual jammed into the P.O. box. It’s all about how to fly helicopters.

It’s got all kinds of technical mumbo jumbo and detailed drawings of things a whirly bird does and things a whirl bird shouldn’t do. I leaf through it slowly, not sure. I think about the kind of people that would really need this book, the ones that want to learn, because they yearn to be up there in the blue sky hovering around in a cloud, humming in perfect synch with the machine humming all around them.

That whirring. The rotors pushing blades that split air.

I’ve never been up in a helicopter and I want to. Me and Spout talked about it the other day while we were swimming in the pool.

What started the discussion?

The pool filter, of course, and this line-

All it takes is one helicopter crash and after that you’ll hear the sound of the chopper blades whirring underneath everything.

Spout says she’d like to go circling around and above Manhattan and see all of the different parts of the city. Look out the window, “Look there’s Queens and look there’s Brooklyn and look there’s the statue of Liberty and look there’s Yankee stadium and look at those people down there, don’t they look just like little army men and the girlfriends and children of army men marching off to fight fire ants in some war over a fire ant hill somewhere?”

I was floating on my back looking up at her face as she floated on her belly in the pool raft. The sun was behind a cloud and the sprinklers were on. The grass was drenched with dew, cool and spreading it’s roots in a network underneath the dirt.


I’m writing a book about a man who survives a helicopter crash. Chhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk And he dreams about throwing himself off a water tower onto the high tension power lines below. Chhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk. And the only thing that saves him from doing that, is a love for a girl. Chhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk. This love is so overwhelming and so blown out of proportion that he has no choice but to go along with it, however wild and out of control it gets.

The manual says: contrary to popular belief brought about by movies and television, a helicopter spiraling out of control will not glide down with the grace of a brick to explode in horrible destruction with the hard earth.

Rather, any experienced helicopter pilot can easily land the powerless and damaged machine down into a soft glowing field, with only a little more space than the whirly bird itself.

There is something called, “Anti-rotation” and as the machine gets close to the earth, it spins around in tandem with it’s own rotor and blades, but will hover above the ground for a few seconds and can even be landed without any damage to the machine or the people inside the machine.

I believe I will float above the earth too before touching down, practicing anti-rotation. Hovering there. Waiting for it to be safe, and perfect, and Chhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk-chhhhhk.


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