Feeling Trapped (A True Story)

by Mary Courtney

Jonathan Trappe had a dream, sitting in his office swivel chair,
gazing vacantly out of the window. He imagined taking to the air.
Just taking off; buying fifty-five huge helium balloons;
a fantasia of reds, whites, greens, yellows and blues.
And he saw himself in slow motion frames, inflating each one,
tying each with string, hefting a huge clod of a stone to put on
the swivel seat, so that the balloons wouldn’t lift it away,
not yet, at any rate; not until all fifty-five were tied in place.
A cacophony on the arms of his chair, a bored filing cabinet grey.

And then he imagined easing the stone off, right down to the date.
He could see it now. Raleigh, North Carolina, June 7th, 2008.
Early morning, commute time to work, half past eight.
And that was it. He decided this dream could not be late.
And so he left for a coffee break and walked at brisk pace
to a shop in the town centre, staring at his reflection facing
him in the window, beyond to the bright glare of party games;
striding in, he picked fifty-five huge helium balloons; matter of factly
paying for them, with no fuss, like it was an everyday activity.
The next day, he left work , and took to the air, in his office chair.