Note: I wrote this to be an illustrated book, so if anyone reading is interested in helping me bring that vision to life, just let me know!
Are people allowed to have two best friends? Because I do.
Oak is a boy I met on the moon the first time I visited, and Ash, well, Ash isn’t a boy or a girl, but I met them on the moon too.
There are other kids who can fly too, and I’m friends with lots of them, but Oak and Ash, they’re my best friends.
I have a couple older sisters who can’t fly, but we like to play pretend together. Sometimes they pretend they can fly and sometimes I pretend I can’t. For like eight years I pretended I was their brother and then I found out I didn’t have to anymore.
I used to go swimming almost every day in the summers before I knew I could fly. I don’t really know why I stopped, I mean, they’re pretty similar up to a point. The same weightlessness. It’s just, I found myself in a place where I was wearing both too many and not enough layers to feel comfortable in the water.
Oak has an old Sega Game Gear from like forever ago he found in a pawn shop in Australia or something. He mostly plays frogger on it which looks pretty fun but since he won’t let me play it I wouldn’t know. He says video games are just for boys which I’ve given up telling him is silly because I think what he means is that he likes video games and he’s a boy even though some people still think he isn’t.
Sometimes when I have to stay on the ground for awhile I get really confused. Like, maybe I can’t actually fly. And everything just feels too close. People say things to me, not even really mean things, and I just get so angry. And then I feel impossibly heavy, like I’m sinking into the earth.
You know that game where the older sisters dress their brother up in girls clothes and he pretends it’s the worst thing to ever happen to him? I got to play that once like five years ago.
So we were flying across the Pacific once, and, I don’t even know what it was, but some of the other kids started breaking off from the group to check something out. Some volcano maybe. And for whatever reason I just couldn’t bring myself to care. Ash was one of the first to go, but Oak kept on flying with me.
And then at some point I was flying alone.
Oak’s moms are having another kid, and they seem pretty excited it looks like it’ll be a girl. And of course, I know most kids don’t end up flying, but I get excited at the thought that it could.
The first time I went to boy’s book club I cried in the bathroom for about half the night, but that was before I knew I could fly. Now I go to a book club with Ash in Cardiff and sometimes Oak comes too and we’re reading Lewis Carroll right now. Sometimes before book club we stop over in Scotland and try on clothes. Ash loves kilts because they’re kind of girly but everyone says they’re for boys.
A lot of the girls keep their hair buzzed so it’s less distracting when they’re flying, but I just really like the way it looks.
I met an old woman who’d spent her whole life on the ground. Had children and grandkids who called her grandpa and dad. And one day at the library she watched me fly to the top of the shelves, and said, “I’ve always thought I could fly but I’ve never flown.” And then she left.
Sometimes birds die. And you see them like you’ve never seen them before. And it takes everything you’ve got to keep on flying.
There’s really something to just finding a nice cloud over Yellowstone to lie down in for awhile. You don’t even have to look at the park. Sometimes it’s just the best place to take a nap.
One time a bully came up to me and spat, “hey I heard your real name was Jacob” like there’s any such thing as a real name and so I just told him “nope, my name’s Willow and I’m going to the moon!” A little bit later I came back and asked if she wanted to come too.