With his hand engulfed in his fathers he walked under the bridge of her colossal pearly-white teeth with his neck craned all the way back. His deep brown eyes seemed to scan every nook and cranny of her oversized head. Trumpets and horns honked harmonious melodies that flooded the atmosphere. A group of human-sized monkeys let out cackles of laughter as they manifested polyrhythmic beats on marching drums that sparked a pep in his step.
He carried a cellophane telescope in his left hand, a creation of the utter drear of a two hour long car ride. Comprising two hair ties, a paper cup, multi-coloured cellophane with printed stars and the wildest of imagination.The apparatus produced a high-pitched crunch as he swung his arms to the tempo of his steps. He raised the lense to his eye and his mouth widened as the sky began to spit rays that painted the sky with opalescence;
Oh, how I wish
Wish it were true.
The stars shine brighter in the day than the night.
For night, there is no need.
Away with it!
Oh, how I wish
Wish it were real.
people glow with all sorts of chroma,
hues of red, pink and blue, and
The galaxy swirls and folds above me like
An optical trance.
Why must I wish?
I see it.
I feel it.
So what could take it away?
There he is!
Just above the pink star to the left!
I will build my ship and fly to the boy fishing on the moon.
We’ll cast our rods to capture planets, meteors and asteroids.
Build a solar system of our own.
My space friend and me…
“Put it down Matthew, you can’t see through that thing.” So he lowered his arm and watched as the stars fell from the sky and colour returned to tepid neutrality.
Their journey continued coaxed by a spikey-haired, blue-bowtied, giant and his red pinafored, pony-tailed companion sported grins intently plastered so largely across their faces. The cartoon-like pair smiled and waved at dear Matthew, to which he quickly aborted to safety behind his father's back. When the coast was clear he returned. For he wanted no friend but his friend on the moon.
They stroll past the people stuck to a rotating wall, walking briskly around the revolving ceramic-like horses, ignoring that vertical drop that raises your hair to stop in front of a bright blue cart. He noticed the cart displayed a painting of outer space; patterned by stars and rocks soaring through the atmosphere, splattered with shades of gold and deep blue. The bottom foreground featured a large semicircular shape with a deep grey tinge, cracked with craters and crevices. Matthew stares at the image, overlooking the streaks of opal-white galaxies swirling through space, speckled with planets, stars and moons.
Our curly-haired boy leaned in closely to inspect the image.
If I do remember correctly,
You casted your rod,
With your back nestled in the crest of the moon,
Just above the star to the left.
That was the star,
The pink one that shone brighter than the rest!
But, where are you?
This map is useless!
Matthew grew with curiosity and unease as time grew increasingly long. His foot tapped repeatedly against the concrete as he rested his arm on his hip. A smirk spread across his face accompanied by the fire burning in his stomach. He looked at his father to see him distracted by the light of his phone.
He wriggled his little hand out of his father's loosened grip. He didn’t seem to notice, he remained lost in a daze focused on his screen.
He seizes the chance and clasps his telescope tightly. With stealth he joins the moving tide of the buzzing crowd. The mass engulfs him like a swarm of bees to a head of lavender. He takes a deep breath, lifts his head and pushes his shoulders back. Strides of determination maneuver his small frame. The crowd is speckled with cowboys hats, pink bow ties and blue fairy floss. He raises the gadget toward his eye as he marches. The world is flooded with hues of colour, a new sense of vibrance engulfs the atmosphere. His neck cranes back along its nape as his gaze snaps to the sky while still propelled forward by the powerful moving current. Suddenly, the wave spat him out sending him rolling across the concrete path like a tumbleweed from the wild west. He loses vision through the lens as the telescope is sent sliding across the floor. After an abrupt landing he lays on his side for a few moments. He sees his creation glistening between flashes of maxi-skirted and short-shorted legs.
On the other side of the mainstrip.
He takes to his elbows and knees, like a soldier through the trenches. Elbow, knee, elbow, knee, he squirms, slithers and slides across the burning black asphalt toward the device. Weaving between heat radiating bodies, eyes on the grail that shines against the sun rays, reflecting beams of white, yellow and gold.
Honky-tonk tunes spill from the megaphone above but then are interrupted by some announcement about half price potatoes on a stick. Now just over an arms length away with one final stretch he grasps the telescope and hastily aborts himself from the tide.
He sits observing the pulsating tide he had just ventured through while dusting dirt from his kneecaps. Then through careful inspection he assesses the apparatus for any severe mechanical damage. He spots a slight dent on the left side on the cone, but with gentle finesse he restores its convex surface.
After regaining his composure again, he raises the telescope to his eye and the world begins to bleed fluorescence. Wisps of vibrance emit from the sun. He scans the sky, and allows the telescope to draw the path in the direction of his newly beloved compatriot of the sky. The crowd is suddenly not so scary, just blurs of colour harmlessly hustling along a rainbow road.
He walks, neck craned back and eyes transfixed on the heavens above. The clouds seem to roll and fold over one another like the rotation of a candy stretch machine, each thick strand of sugar filled goodness mixing and concaving on itself to mould into new creations. The air feels thinner and tastes oh so sweet.
The telescope guides his gaze to his feet. He notices that the tile on which he stands glows a fluorescent gold. A metre away in the distance another tile shines.
Ahh I see!
The path you have uncovered
Well then, I’ll give three taps of my boots
And follow the yellow-brick road
The lure of the sky tugs at my heart
I’ll follow the trail that is always new
So off goes our boy, leaping like a frog from lily pad to lily pad, finessing around pillars and swamps of people. He leaps against the backdrop of the swirling purple sky and the soundtrack of joyful children's screams on rides harmonising with the tunes outpouring from the speakers above. Matthew suddenly stops and views with a curious stare a burly fat man with tangles of black fur protruding from all angles of his thin white singlet standing on his right. He stands rocking off the balls of his feet as if ready to spring into action. His left hand grips a spatula shaped tool with which the man manically swings about every few moments. Slapping his back, calves and arms while exclaiming “these f*cking flies!”. Why our boy was so intrigued by this man is uncertain but he quickly broke his trance to return to the mission.
With the telescope cemented to the socket of his eye he embarked on his journey to the sky. The people smiled just a little bit wider, their teeth just a little bit whiter and the children's amused giggles suspended in the air just a little bit longer.
Matthew sifted through every crevice of the clouds in search of his companion nestled in the luna toenail clipping.
His gaze shifted to the bricks that continued to glow in a deep yellow haze. As each brick contacted the bottom of his skechers excitement grew within him. In support, the crowd rushed to clear the path ahead. So he continued to run, receiving flashes of auxiliary grins.
He ran, jumped, dodged and dove through the crowd of people. Until he came to an abrupt halt. The next brick did not reveal itself. He searched intently along the ground through hurrying legs and pram wheels. He found no glow. Where to next? He pondered, then turned to the sky for direction.
There in the distance a bright glow appeared at the base of a building that's peak reached to the clouds in the sky. “Surely, that is my ship!” he thought.
There it is!
Oh so tall and red just like the one I made at home
I will see you in three days, I will!
As soon as I climb up and push
The big red button
He sped to the building to joyfully rests the palm of his hand on the structure. He stood enthralled by a red rocketship frame supported by thick metal beams.
Step, pull, lunge, push, he maneuvers his body around the building along the silver beams. Scaling the ship with such a conviction that flames surge within his stomach. He mounts the crest of the ship and overlooks the crowds below. They wander aimlessly from one ride to the next, from one potato on-a-stick to the next, from blue cotton candy to pink. But he did not spend long looking down as his friend was calling him to look up. So up he gazed. Through the telescope the clouds looked like fluorescent puffs gently folding over each other inside a lava lamp.
“I'm coming!” he exclaims to the crowds as he punches the air with his fist. The waves of people below gather and cheer. The sudden uproar almost causes him to lose his balance. Through the scope he glances at their cheering faces, clapping their hands, yelling in support of his mission. He throws them an elegant wave with his free hand making small circular motions in the air.
Look at them all
Cheering below me.
They want us to meet,
you and I.
I found my ship!
I’m on my way,
My telescope and me.