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"Of course no one wears wings anymore"

(viii. fast fashion)

Maybe I can offer you an advance on my promise. I can share with you a fear of mine now, and we can enjoy it together. Since you have read this far, you have certainly shown that you want to be friends. Somehow I knew that you would. You and I must share many similar dreams.

As I told you, the Doctor wants me to have an operation that she says will help my memory. I wonder what you would do. By now, you have witnessed that I have many memories, even if they are not the kind the Doctor seems to like. When she asks about the operation, I tell her that I have not decided for certain. She insists that she cannot be happy if I remain "this way." This is the only way I can remember, though. In some way, I am fearful of upsetting the Doctor, I suppose; she has been so kind to me. However, the idea of an operation that may end my dreams is even more frightening. After all, how can a knife that makes people bleed also make people heal?

But for now I tell the Doctor I will be strong. "It’s occasions like these that you just have to wear your wings," I say to comfort myself.

She looks at me suspiciously. "What wings?" she finally asks.

1.viii. fast fashion
viii. fast fashion
"It’s occasions like these that you just have to wear your wings," I say to comfort myself.

It’s a question like this that makes me certain her eyes see differently than ours do. It is a question like this that allows fear to grow in between us. She tells me that nobody has wings. Reader, how can she be a doctor if she observes so little?

People do have wings.

To prove this to her, we go to the park. The Doctor squints from the sun, and like all people she stares at the ground to be safe. She turns to me and tells me that we often used to go to the park together. To be honest, I don’t have any recollection of this. It doesn’t seem likely, though, because the Doctor is strangely uncomfortable out of her office. It’s hard to imagine she comes here often at all. I smile at her, but she looks away. The Doctor has the sharpest eyes I know.

After a time she recalls why we have come. She asks me about the people around us, and if they have wings. I look around, trying to point out all the people with wings – but no one is wearing them.

"Of course no one wears wings anymore," I have to tell her. This is painfully true looking around at the people in the park. "But it doesn’t mean that nobody has them. The wings just all seem to have been lost somewhere."

No, but really! "Like that man over there," I explain, "the one who looks like lies: he lost them the first time he spoke. And the woman with the jewels in her hair and her skin: she forgot her wings at the counter where she sold away her dreams. The pair over there hurrying along wear suits and glasses instead. I’m sure they still have wings in their briefcases, but it is too much trouble to look. If I had to guess, I would say that this one passing – the one with the sunken eyes – he drowned his in a bottle, and they just don’t work like they used to. And her, with the plastic smile and swollen chest: hers just don’t fit her body. Look at him, the boy who looks like a man; he gets paid for forty hours a week just not to bother with them. Even on vacation, though, I’ll bet he doesn’t look around to see where they’ve gone."

I continue to explain, but the Doctor has already returned her gaze to the ground. "I know a broken man who lost his on a phone call, and another who meant to mail his away, but the envelope is still waiting, lost in his drawer. And if you ever meet a woman who stares always at the ground, you can tell her I saw her wings up high with a broken heart to keep them company. Sometimes you’ll find wings in strange places, discarded in crowds of insults or waves of frowns."

For emphasis I add: "These wings get lost easily."

I can tell that the Doctor doesn’t understand. Or she pretends not to anyway.

"So where are your wings?" she asks me.

I admit, I am not prepared for this question.

"Oh, I think I must have given them away, maybe." Reader, what else could I have said?

But honestly, don’t make fun, I keep them in my closet and wait for them to become fashionable again. I know that I will never be a trendsetter.

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