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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Origami Aerospace

One eight and one half by eleven white standard sheet
Became a paper airplane
Of the classroom traditional long style
The full eleven inches long
Tapered from nose to tail
Built for speed
With extra folded winglets along the edges
And tweaked with some pretend ailerons at the rear

In the gym at school he could make this design go half the court length easily
But he wanted more

More planes is what was thought at first
So a fleet of the fleet winged specials appeared in short order
Five hundred almost identical eleven inch classroom traditionals
Laid out side by side in rows of fifty
An armada without engines
Lacking only willing arms to power flight

Standing back and taking stock
And finding this to be satisfying at first
But something nagged at at him
Something undefined by folds of boyhood origami
A match was struck and the fleet went up with a whoosh
Leaving him with a blank slate to start over again

A new stack of paper and a new design later
Short and stubby this time
More suited to doing tricks than making distance
Dutifully folded crisply all aligned in rows of fifty
Laid out for a commander's review
Resulting only in more disappointment
Another match later combusted out of view

A madness overtaking the paper plane craftsman
Driving up the bill to the paper company horrendously
As truck after truck made deliveries to the workshop endlessly
Callouses building up over scabs that became scars
From the constant folding fingering and aligning
That became the new normal in his world

The girlfriend she left him
After he ignored their two month anniversary
Which was fine he said to himself
"I needed the room anyways"
As more and more complex folded paper structures filled the property

Mother called the police
Telling them to take him away
For his own good
Before he got lost in all the paper impropriety

But by that time he couldn't be found
Lost within the myriad shapes as he was

The cops called out for NASA
As what they saw looked like a UFO to them

Trucks from the paper mill had worn a valley in the street
A grand canyon with a Colorado road at the bottom
Twisting a snake-like way to the lair
Coming in slow and sagging at the springs
Leaving light and full of diesel life once again

The hairy dirty hermit that was this paper artist
Kept dragging boxes of paper into the maze
Both the method and the madness overtaking his days

Breathing eating drinking in flat white cellulose
This had gone past any stage of rebellious
Looking like something from out of this world
SETI started pointing their antennae his way
Hoping to hear an utterance in alienese
Perhaps from a frogman from Venus
Or a warrior from Mars
But much to their disappointment
All they heard were some sleep apnea snores as he snoozed in the yard

One day an undetermined amount of days later
The paper finally ran out
The mills run dry
The forests all gone for leagues around

All falling according to plans of course
Written in an endless gibbering font
Down long corridors of folded joined paper
All that a maze runner could ever want

Finally dawn's fingers of light
Found a form upon the bridge in a paper captain's chair
Firing up the atomic paper engines
Causing earthquakes in Bolivia
A small volcano in Yugoslavia
And hallucinations of alternate histories in Bavaria

Into a paper tube bellowed a captain most foul
With dirty hair and beard to his belly
Kept clothed only by shreds of matted paper

Answered most improbably by a voice from a paper speaker labeled as 'PAL'
"Countdown to liftoff has begun, Steve"

The captain paused his shredding rants
"PAL, my name is Dave
Call me Captain Dave"

PAL's sensor glowed indiscriminately
"I'm sorry Steve
I can't call you Dave"

Cutting his losses
The captain pressed on
"Fine, call me Steve
Let's get out of here!"

Sensors turned outwards
Paper thrusters impossibly burned like the sun
Pushing paper wings upwards towards the stars
Never to be seen again