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Casino Night

"No tie."

I laugh. It's the annual casino night at my college dorm. I'm dressed up more than usual - I'm wearing a blazer. Today it's more function than form, though.

The ticket taker isn't laughing, though.

In my dreams...

On The Tiny Octopus

In my dreams I am unfailingly optimistic...

I own a single propeller engine car/plane hybrid that I mooched off eBay and park at the side of my place. When I want to go out on a food run I back it out of the side of the house and eyeball a small stretch of road near my house. It's good enough. I turn on the engines and launch myself into the air with barely enough space before the road ends. It's OK though - I made it up into the air - and nary a negative thought enters my mind. Yes I just busted out a plane and launched it in the middle of a residential district.

As I launch higher into the atmosphere I look outside the open cockpit at the city. I look at the buildings and green trees and parks and the expanses of urbanization that go on forever. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I just look at the horizon beyond and stare at it in a sort of infatuation. I'm just going on a food run. I maneuver the plane a bit and dip low as I'm nearing my destination. I am skimming the tops of apartment buildings, trees, dipping up not to hit tall power lines and I love every minute of it.

As I'm in the air approaching my usual landing strip - a small wide stretch of park jogging trail in a forested park my mind goes thru some passing thoughts. Won't I get in trouble for flying a single engine wherever I want in post-911 paranoid America? Nah... it's just me... it'll be alright... I can explain it away. I'm not a terrorist just a guy in a single engine enjoying life. The thought passes thru my consciousness as quickly as it came. I also realize I am not wearing a parachute or have any sort of plan in place if my salvaged single engine suddenly died thousands of feet in the air. I have a passing thought about all the people who'd be sad if I suddenly passed due to any number of accidents that happened from flying this thing. My mind quickly retorts with: Sudden plane crashes are extremely rare and can be avoided with simple preparation. Don't fly in bad weather. If the plane starts failing it's a single engine prop - just glide it down to a safe landing zone. Do whatever you need to keep the plane up as long as possible. It's alright. The thought quickly exits my mind as well because in my dreams I am unfailingly optimistic. I am in my element and I am happy.

The stretch of park looms up ahead and I dip the plane hard to prepare my landing. I seem to be going a bit fast for the ground and the landing site may not be long enough. It's OK though I've done this before - I know what I'm doing. I dip the plane down hard then angle the nose upwards while applying the airbrakes. The plane's engines cut out and I'm gliding over the ground. I am slowing down somewhat in the air and the approach is perfect. I land smoothly but I am still going a bit fast and the park trail ends up ahead. I slam the groundbrakes hard and the plane screeches and spins out right before hitting the trees. It was still about 50 feet though and I was supremely confident it'd stop. I recover from the spinout and taxi down the park trail as usual into a McDonalds parking lot. What time is it? I don't know probably about dawn perhaps 5 or 6am or pm - some time when the sun is either going up or going down.

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