Sunday, September 4, 2022

From a Dream...

 09/04/22 – 05:00am

Now a new scene, also totally different…

Here I am flying. I am hurtling along just above the downtown city rooftops at an extraordinary rate of speed. I am thrilled by the feeling of flight and amazed at how closely I skim the rooftops with their graveled compound surfaces and walls and borders. The terrain which I speed over and around is all modern city rooftops. There are new construction structures and large roof-mounted air conditioning units arranged randomly throughout the course I fly.

I am amazed at the agility with which I navigate these objects as I smoothly zip forward dodging this structure or that, banking deftly left and then right, pitching quickly up or down in order that I might not strike any of the various and typical structures common to city rooftops. I fly within inches of these objects as I skillfully swoop this way or that, left or right, up or down, to narrowly avoid impact.

In this fight, this high-speed, free-floating gauntlet-like course that I traverse, all of my movements are smooth. There is never a jerk or violent change of direction. I fly through this rooftop cityscape as a pro and one who is in complete control of one’s movements.

Throughout, I constantly stare in wonder at how such a thing is possible as I am moving at a great rate of speed (perhaps 100+mhp?), and impacting any of the structures I so closely navigate would assuredly mean death or maiming at the very minimum. But I continue without incident. The hard edges and right-angle corners of the air conditioning units fly past, oddly not “as a blur” the way things seem to do when moving at such a velocity. On the contrary, all of these structures, the rooftop stairwell doors, AC units, ledges, wiring, and electric boxes are rendered in absolute clarity as I bank and swoop among them.

Everything there is dark or light browns and greys and grey blues, the colors common to an environment comprised mostly of industrial but well machined outdoor equipment. There are flat, clean greys and darker, more blue-grey surfaces. There are brown doors flying by with flat, cleanly polished aluminum grey door knobs. The rooftop surface is either dark black and grey asphalt or asphalt covered with small brown or tan stones. Out and around me as I fly through these structures, extends the city proper and it is huge.

The city beyond the walls of the rooftops extends outward in all directions and I am aware of it but not in such clarity as I am of my immediate surroundings. But it is there and it is looming. It recedes without end outside of my site and towards every peripheral horizon.

Throughout this brief but exciting moment, I am both thrilled and slightly afraid. I am reminded of those enthusiasts in waking life who wear their “wing suits” and intentionally jump from the tallest of mountain peaks, at the edge of the breathable atmosphere at times, only to plummet back down to earth in their wingsuit.

These wingsuit enthusiasts make a point to hug the mountain wall in their descent as closely and as precipitously as possible, at times flying within a few feet of the mountain face or swooping through the mountain’s natural bridges or arches or overhangs. Among that crowd, such danger is sought out and the degree to which one can flirt with demise as they make their descent is the same degree of admiration that they in turn receive among their peers and especially from the random onlooker.

Suddenly, as I fly, I somehow realize or think that I am a drone. I mean, one of the four prop, electric machines so popular these days and that have made such a very real and major impact not only on recreation but especially and more importantly in industry, production and film making.

It’s another conversation but the impact that drone technology has made since being readily and dependably useable has been so great and across so many areas of life and work that I sometimes refer to there being a “pre drone era” and a “post drone era,” such is the lasting change and impact I feel these machines to have made (entertainment, recreation, film making, surveying, disaster reconnaissance, construction…the list of positive contributions made by the tech is endless.

But back to my flying scene…

I realize then that I am not wholly in control of anything here and in regard to my movement among the buildings. As soon as the thought of drones and wingsuits comes to my sleep-life mind, I realize then that I am not, myself a drone but I am somehow attached to one, even fused with one and that some other force compels and directs this drone-me-self along these rooftops and flits me dexterously among the many obstacles that occur along our course.

Here again, another waking-life moment comes to mind. My view of the surroundings, the course I take through the rooftops’ ever-changing topography, the objects and structures I zip through and around? It all feels and looks exactly like the pilot’s view seen and displayed so often on television and as part of the very popular “drone racing” competitions that are occasionally available on most cable networks. That analogy best describes my flight and my perception of the same. Of special note is the speed that the drones travel in those races, the fact that the very point of the race is to navigate structures at the highest speed possible, and that the perceived motion of the vehicle, from the pilot’s “camera eye” perspective, comes across as almost out of control but still, just barely, controlled enough to not make an impact with any of the surroundings.

In the same scene, I am, in degrees, more and more acutely aware of the drone as an object separate from myself, and in fact, it then becomes completely distinct from myself and I am required to actually affix my arms and legs about this object as we hurtle along! I cling there then like a crab, almost employing what might be called a full body bear hug of sorts, this being the only means of my now staying connected to the craft.

Then, without warning, we have shot up and out of the close confines of the rooftops to begin a straight, rapidly accelerating, and vertical ascent through the sky and up towards the upper atmosphere! My speed increases dramatically, like that of a rocket leaving orbit. I am heading straight up in the sky, ever-accelerating and I am more and more aware that the only thing keeping me attached to the now rather small vehicle which propels us is my own arms grasped tightly about it! I am otherwise in no way fastened to the object, now miles above the earth and still increasing in speed.

I am then quite concerned. I am not fear stricken or panicked in anyway way. I am merely worried that at such a speed and height, I may not be able to retain my grasp on the small object and possibly plummet to my demise if we encountered turbulence or some other event that might slightly jostle me or bump me in a way that might result in my losing purchase on my tiny craft.

The object to which I cling is then clearly noted to be a small cushion or pillow of sorts! It measures approximately 2×2 feet square, the same as a common “throw pillow” or pillow that one might place as both adornments and as a functional headrest on one’s couch in a living type environment. I do not find this odd but I am more and more bothered at the size of this small vessel/pillow and my difficulty in maintaining a sure grip on it. I constantly find myself rearranging my arms so as to better my grasp on the thing.

Then, miles above the earth, I am then hurtling straight back down at an even greater rate of speed. I do not remember the transition from ascent to descent but simply find myself descending.

Then there is a third party present as I plummet towards the ground. This person is more so there as an unseen narrator than he is as an actual, visible person. He is commenting on my descent, much the same way an airline pilot would make regular “cabin calls” to the passengers with periodic updates regarding their flight.

I do not recall his words precisely but he speaks in a plain manner, neither friendly nor threatening but simply informing. He seems to be aware of my concern regarding the close and ever-approaching ground as well as the impact that necessarily awaits. At that point, I think, “How could any object traveling this fast and already so close to the ground, stop itself? It’s an impossibility of physics!”.

And the narrator-voice comments almost in reply, saying something like, “Yes. That is what you will now come to know. You will know exactly what it’s like to fall at that rate of speed and you will know what it feels like to reach the ground.”

With the man’s last words, I am not afraid but rather calmly concerned but, strangely, also curious as to what it will be like to impact the ground at that rate of descent (supersonic, it seemed) and I’m actually a bit excited as to whether it will hurt or be unnoticeable. I wonder if I will simply pass through the ground or perhaps instantly evaporate, this latter possibility being the most likely and in line with my amateur knowledge of waking-life physics.

Then, perhaps the oddest and most distinctly remembered moment of the flight is the actual moment when we meet the ground.

Here every science fiction novel I’ve read comes to mind. I mean the sort of books that envision technological futures that have seen the development of scientific methods and are based on undiscovered principles so far advanced as to be outside of our current, real-life knowledge of physics and the space within which we physically live and especially in how we are able to currently bend such to our will.

I think of these works of fiction because what happens at the point of my being a mere three to four feet from impact might only be described in such a work of science fiction. I mean to say that what happens next is certainly the “stuff of dreams” and or scientific possibilities that might one day be realized but which are still hundreds or even thousands of years from being developed.

And as I reach the ground, still traveling at a supersonic rate of speed, there sets in motion a sort of physics-defying sequence of events that somehow gently and in otherwordly degrees, lessens my speed and I land safely and without injury. During the microseconds-long moment of impossible arrest in my motion, I am keenly aware of it being just that, a complete impossibility.

As my fall is arrested and slowed, just mere feet from the ground, from 1000+ mph to resting gently on the ground, I feel as though some sort of force field type technology was the only means via which such a halt could be made without tearing an individuals body to bits in the process; as mentioned, such an event is outside the bounds of physics and therefore would require very special tech indeed (magic even?) to achieve.

It’s as though there is a dense, unseen, protective buffer that eases my body in a form of near instantaneous deceleration that is comfortable, effortless, and smooth; I can actually feel this force at work around every part of the exterior of my body like an invisible repellant layer of sorts that somehow cushions me from the forces of gravity and velocity that would otherwise, basically, cause ones physical body to completely evaporate in such a scenario. Again I recall countless science fiction novels that I have read, faster than light travel or otherwise, where technology is employed to protect the frail human form from being harmed in the process and when exposed to such violent and unbelievable adjustments in speed.

Here an analogy of sorts comes to mind as I struggle to describe that strange and impossible moment of instant deceleration and the bodily sensation experienced at the time.

I am reminded of the invisible but sure force one can experience in waking life when attempting to join the positive surface of a strong magnet with the positive surface of another strong magnet, that invisible but repellant force that prevents one from doing so. With the magnet analogy, there is also the fact that the degree of repellency increases in proportion to the closeness of either magnet surface; it is not a hard stop but a gradual but swiftly occurring resistance one experiences with the two magnets and this is exactly how it felt in those microseconds that it took for me to go from a subsonic descent to a calm, safe, and resting state on the ground. It is perhaps the highlight of that entire flight scene.

I realize I did not smash upon the earth’s surface and am unharmed. There is no other imagery and here the sleep-life ends and I wake, happy to have not had a repeat of the sleepless night before and glad to have something to write down…


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