He sits on his bed in a room with a view of the street. This street, with its unrelenting traffic and low, constant whoosh. That’s the sound of the cars and trucks and bicycles rushing by. Everyone has somewhere more important to be than on this street. It gets them from one place to another and the only thing in the way is space and time. This street is dirty. Newspapers and pop cans and cigarette butts clog the sewer grates and create a backlog of grim and sand.
Sitting on his bed, which was a bed in the technical sense as it was a mattress and box spring on rails with dark stained four post head and foot boards. But to him it was more than a bed. It was were he watched the world. Or at least the part of the world he could see from his window.
The quilt was made by his grandmother as a present for sleeping in a big boy bed. A prize for growing up. It’s only but five or six years old now, but it is worn like a quilt many years older.
His legs and feet dangled from the sides of his bed. Still a few inches to go before they’ll reach the floor. He swings them like a metronome. One and two and three and four. One and two and three and four. He closes his eyes and counts in his head. Counting makes him feel safe. Safe from the street. Safe from the shoppers who come and go to and from the shops below. With his eyes still closed, he lays back on his bed. One and two and three and four. Arms splayed out like a plane. Like his planes. His planes make him feel safe, too.
He slowly opens his eyes, one at a time. Right one first, left one next. One, then two. Looking up from his bed is when he sees his planes. Planes made from newspaper and cardboard and lined note paper. Discarded bits of wallpaper and scrapbooking cardstock. A few made from Christmas greeting cards. They hang from the ceiling by string, stuck with push pins, dangling, swaying. When he stands on his bed, he is amongst the planes and they share a view.
He jumps down and walks over to the window and with a bit of a strain, he opens it a few inches. He sits back up on his bed and lays down, eyes up, and waits. Waits for the breeze to build strength. Slowly it begins to circulate the room. First the papers on his desk begin to flutter. Then his fine, black eyelashes. Then he sees it. The first movement. Then another. And another. Soon the airplanes are dancing in the wind, swinging to the sound of the traffic roaring by, shivering in the cool breath of fall air.
He hears, beyond the horns and the cars and the people shouting in the street, he hears a whisper. A whisper of paper gently touching paper, greeting each other with a brush.
He closes his eyes once again, making the room black, making the paper planes disappear. He feels the breeze on his cheek. He hears the buzz of the street.