With arms extended, palms facing out, and my smiling face aimed straight ahead, I dream I’ll actually do it this time. The rooftop is my takeoff ramp and someplace unknown is my landing strip. This Place, this mysterious utopia of my dreams, has become my reality; has become my escape. There is no place like it, I’m sure. The ocean there is an unreal blue, the color of turquoise and green mixed. Some may be thinking how typical, but I can only say patience, patience. My paradise has all four seasons, and it snows and rains and is chilly with leaves that fall out of love gracefully, floating away from the trees they once called their own. The spring contains wonderful cherry blossom trees and the summer is full of sun that never gives you sunburn. The people in my utopia are understanding and intelligent, yet happy–a endangered species that is unprotected elsewhere. The pragmatists and romantics all get along, for the reality of this Place is beautifully romantic. The library there holds all the books you’ve ever read, and the librarian never says “shh,” only “Speak up.” No one is ever offended, just brutally honest. Everyone desires knowledge, more and more knowledge. No TV exists in my land, and no bombs or threats either, for who would want to harm a land as lovely as this? I am completely assured that you have fallen in love with this place already, yet I have saved the best part for last. The town has a broken down church on the corner. The reason it is broken down is because all the people in the church give their money to the poor and widows and orphans, so they don’t have any money left for buildings. But even though the church’s roof is slanted and the pews are old, the people still go every single day, not to praise the building but to praise the Builder.

Back to my current situation. I stand on my roof, with hands extended and my face lifted high, ready to fly away to my paradise. After a few more priceless seconds of bliss, my body slumps down on the roof, and I watch instead my town. The hypocritical christians and the poor orphans playing all alone while the rich kid runs across the street to avoid him. The meaningless chatter floats to my ears as I realize what these people never will: They have set up a society in which both everything and nothing matters. As Mark Twain proved in the greatest American novel, one cannot just escaped the society one was born into. So my dreams and plans and ideals will eventually all fade away, and I’ll make excuses about why I never did fly off this roof and land somewhere new. So, here’s to growing up, getting old, and losing oneself.


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