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The rows of brown stone buildings close my world frame the sky as I walk down the red sidewalk with the little imperfect rocks sticking out. Every time I look up, the ugly gray leafless trees obscure the blue and white of the sky. Bostonians in their black and gray coats pass around me without looking from the red stone walk. I think the sidewalk will vanish if they don't keep looking at it. I know the sky will vanish if I don't keep looking up.

The city gets bigger and bigger every day and I only get farther and farther away from the robust white clouds glowing in the afternoon sun. The wind charges down these corridors of brown stone and surrounds me in an invisible wool blanket of bitter frost. I pull my heavy blue coat, which looks purple as I walk in the shadows of the brown stone wall, close to my ribs and think about how warm the sun must be. In every window I pass, I can see the white silhouette of my face above the purple coat and I look up at the glowing clouds. I try not to think of the brown stone wall finally closing me into this brownstone world. I dream about flying and about the times with my father in his white and blue Cessna.

In the distance, I see a solitary figure out of the crowd. A tall guy with bright white hair standing at attention wearing an immaculate white long coat. I recognize him immediately and I smile in my head. Carut. I hadn't thought I would see him today and for a minute my happiness hides the brown and red surrounding me. Carut smiles as he comes to a stop in front of me.

"If it isn't the Great Gull" Carut says. He always had a way of saying my name making it sound cooler than it actually is.

"Afternoon, Carut. How are you?"

"The sky is blue so I can't complain."

"Funny. I have been thinking a lot about the sky."

"Understandable. How was that thing with your father?"

"It's finished, and I need to get out of the city for a little while. Where are you headed?"

"I'm directionless."

"Well, I guess I should let you go back to your walk. Plus I need to get to the train station"

"I guess I shall see you later. Fly free Gull, and don't let anything keep you from the sky."

I look back up into the sky as Carut continues down the walk behind me. It has been a long time since I have been out of the city. I used to make regular trips with my father to a large green field with a large oak tree, a simple message carved into it, surrounded by woods. That is where I am going. The place where my father met my mother. For a moment I need to be away from the cold white faces on black bodies. I need to be away from the brown stone wall and the gray towers that block the sun. I need to rest my eyes so that I don't lost the blue.

The train station, a large gray building, VOLATUS VERITAS EST written across the top, is just around the corner and I have almost escaped the brown stone world. For a second, I remember my first trip to the city as a young boy. My father had gripped my hand as we exited the train and entered the great hall of the main terminal. The ceiling had long steel rafters with bird sitting peacefully. The whole room seemed to be filled with the sweet smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the small bakery stand near the entrance. My father told me that the inhabitants of the city rushed around as quickly as they could to find all the wonderful secrets of the city. I never really believed, and now as I return to the train station, all I see are the same people flowing in and out of the holes in the giant gray building.

I take the first train going my direction and I think about the city. It goes by out my window as the train begins its journey, and through the pane, a gray giant stretching his arms to the sky. From this silver train, the city looks genuinely calm and peaceful and, in some small ways, mystical. If I didn't know the heart of the beast, I would be genuinely saddened by my flight today. Soon, I fall asleep.


"Sometimes, it is hard to look back on one man's life without thinking about all the people he has touched. Sometimes, it is hard to look back on such a life without feeling serious loss. My father, Jack is such a man. Today, we mourn his loss and some of you morn my loss. Since my mother's passing, you have all stood by me and loved me and helped me. None so much as my father. My father was the best he could be. He loved me and helped me. I think that I don't morn his passing as I think that he is in a better place. I mourn my loss of such a good friend and father."


I wake up on the train and I forget for a moment where I am. I forget about the funeral earlier today. I forget about the black suit and the rows and rows of flowers of blue and white. I think about my destination. Have I passed it? Have I slept so long that I'm back to the brown stone world? The conductor calls out "NORWOOD," and I know I still have a few minutes. I know that I am still going forward.

I sit quietly just listening to the gentle percussion of the train as it slowly makes its way to a stop. "FRANKLIN," my stop. I listen as uneasy commuters deboard the train around me. They smell like heavy sweat and overly brewed coffee. I don't notice the smells when I'm outside looking up at the blue sky again. I begin to walk again and I know that I will be where I belong again. I look at the little town and I know that everything there is the same it has always been. I smile thinly. It hasn't changed since I left it six years ago to live in the brown and gray city.

The field is only a few minutes from the train station and normally empty during the winter. The wind is a gentle breeze here near the field and it feels like a cool comforter on my face. I unzip my jacket to reveal my black suit. The field is empty but for one person sitting under the oak tree gazing into the sky, a woman, about my age, but I don't know who she is. Her hair is a shade of yellow mixed with moments of orange and her face is filled with a deep red. As I walk closer, I can smell a faint aroma of jasmine. She is perfect.

"Isn't the sky gorgeous," she asks.

I nod. "Why have you come out on such a cold day?"

"Just to look up at the sky and daydream I guess. How about you?"

"This is my spot."


I point to the craving in the tree. "GULL IS BORN."


"That's my name. This was my father's favorite spot."

"Mine too."

"May I join you?"

She scoots over. "My name is Cloud."

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