A trampoline park is no place for epiphanies. Well, the park would just have to adapt or die, because I was going nowhere. I sat on the platform a few metres from the ground. To be fair, it was a few metres from the trampoline floor and foam cubes. The ground was below that. Details matter.
I could hear screams of JUMP and my name as if I were a rally cry. I looked around and there was neither fire behind me nor athletes chasing me. So my loyal fans/concerned citizens would just have to wait. Meanwhile, a 5-year-old girl did a running swan dive into the ether. I swear she sneered at me and called me a coward as she flew into oblivion. I respect that.
Because I had time, I thought about a talk I attended where Athol Fugard spoke about his writing process. Yes, a humble brag name drop. He opened with the simplest and most rousing piece of advice I’ve ever heard: jump. He took a wallet, placed it on the edge of the table and gave it a nudge. He said that was us.
Waiting is fine, and being concerned about the fall is understandable, but are you happy on the edge?
What i got from his talk is that jumping over the edge doesn’t have to look the same for everyone, but do it before you think yourself into stasis.
I got down from the platform, my Olympic dreams dashed. I looked up and funny how perspective just goes ahead and changes. Rude. Looking up it suddenly didnt seem so high. So, full of bravado, I went back up. Then got back down. I wonder where all that bravado went. It certainly did not leave my body on the winds of nervous farts.
The day was long and the park was filled with the screams of children and instructors giving safety warnings. I marvelled at how Chinese can be both melodic and threatening. I may have gone up a few more times. The trampolines were way more fun. Theres certainly an argument for dependable ol’ bland rote jumping.
More time to think. When I was younger I went to the circus. The ring leader prances around with all the flair of someone confident walking in sawdust. He needed someone to kiss a frog. Said amphibian was a man-sized costumed performer (don’t think too hard about the creepiness of it. I try not to) and it would be engulfed in smoke sparks and reveal something. I think it was a prince or princess. Me, young, pale and allegedely adorable was in his sights. He beckoned, I froze. Go! I heard from my father and sister. But I couldn’t. In the meantime a little girl was walking toward the frog, just as I felt an inch of bravery and my legs about to move. Would they ever have moved? Who knows? Could my failure to jump even be classified as a failure?
Is a trampoline park the right place for this existential crisis? Am I asking these questions to stall, for whatever reason, like time or word count? Will this post end anytime soon? Will I…
Oh, by the way, I jumped. Twice. But you saw that coming.
It still seemed high afterwards, but not so high. I’m sure it would have kept shrinking the more I jumped. But a point was made. A self-wager was met. I was done.