Suddenly, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I find myself unable to fly. The morning is cold and grey. Rain looms. I should take some consolation in the poor weather, but only feel even more incapacitated. Even turning my head and sitting very quietly, even examining the various books that I have not yet read, even attending to the curious posture of my brown bag or the tendency of envelopes to sink while their contents swim – absolutely none of this does any good. My only option is to conceive a world without flight, to accept this as a given. This must be possible. I am defined as much by my inadequacies as by my accomplishments. I went outside and brought in the yellow recyling bin. It was meant to be emptied two days ago, but the truck only came this morning. The whole street had left their bins out in protest, confident that the matter would have to be addressed eventually.

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