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Down on the ground, it was already twilight and had been for a while. The long, lavender spring evening was fading into shadowless grays and then into darkness. Work had run late and the last express bus was already gone. The next bus, a consumptive sounding Local, was pulled to the curb for a twenty minute layover and nobody was allowed to board.

I stood on the sidewalk staring up at the twin arms of Ketchup and Mustard; the two construction cranes on the far side of the train tracks. Each arm was flying an American flag, strung below the gantry on a length of weighed cable instead of the traditional flagpole.

Down on the ground, the air was still, but up at flag level the wind was brisk and the flags danced and waved cheerily in the dying light. I stared up at the flag beneath Ketchup: the ever- shifting waves were soothing to watch: like watching steam rise off coffee or waves sluicing on the beach.

I probably stared at it for fifteen minutes, thinking about Life, The Universe, and Everything.

The wind doesn’t blow because the flag is waving” I told myself, feeling very philosophical and looking for a way to reassure myself that if life wasn’t quite the shadow I’d hoped it would be that it wasn’t entirely my fault. But even as I thought it, and felt duly reassured, I still knew that I couldn’t just hang around waiting for the wind to blow me in the right direction. I had to take some responsibility for my own destiny. A folded flag couldn’t wave at all.

And besides: I wasn’t a flag, I was a human.

Stop making excuses.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 28, 2018.

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