I was 22. That was the first time I flew in a plane.
As the jet ascended into the clouds, I had a thought. I need to jump.
Two months later, I talk a buddy into parachuting with me. We spend most of a Saturday learning how to jump and what to expect. Most of that time we're signing documents that clear their ass. In case something went wrong, it was our fault. Not the instructors.
So me and my buddy, each with our cheesy 22 year old mustaches, climb into a small plane with a Jump Master. We have on jumpsuits and helmets. The Jump Master wears shorts and flip-flops. At 3000 feet, we jump out of a perfectly good plane. My buddy goes first.
When the door opens, he turns the color of bleached snow and moves like rigor mortis. It takes a steady hand from the Jump Master to get him out on the wing. He stands just outside the door and looks back.
And then, whooosh.
I go next. This insanity is my idea. I put my foot on the small platform, slightly wider than my boot. I grab the strut beneath the wing. And, like I was instructed after signing my life away, I step off the platform so that I'm dangling from the wing. I look back at the Jump Master.
The static line crashes my chute open. And I'm drifting. Thousands of feet above the ground. I can see for miles.
Slowly, I fall.
Fall to the ground.
If only I could fall that gracefully every moment of my life.