Tuesday, April 24, 2012


There's a lot of people becoming dislodged these days. Have you noticed? They're there with their feet on the ground one second and then, all of a sudden, they start to levitate slightly and float off up into the air, higher and higher, roaring out for help. Have you seen it happen? Have you noticed? It happens all the time. People don't talk about it much. Those close to the dislodged tend not to mention it. They know that others don't want to know. No one likes to think about it. Dislodgment is a scary thing. It could happen to any of us. Any of us could become dislodged.

However, there is hope for some of those who become dislodged. If they are caught early in their ascent and brought back down to earth they can be saved. Specialists can attach special weights to their feet and the dislodgee can continue to live a normal grounded life. Well, normalish. You often see dislodgees (or 'floater offers' as they are ignorantly referred to) struggling up the road with a sluggish gait, dragging their weighted feet. No one looks them in the eye. They get a bus pass. It's all we can do for them.

 For those not caught by the feet or trouser leg as they ascend, the prognosis is grim. They just keep getting higher and higher. Higher and higher as their screams become more and more faint. Their tearful loved ones wave goodbye from below as they vanish into the clouds and are caught up in the currents of the troposphere. Freezing to death. Becoming ice mummies. The corpses of the dislodged often coalesce into frozen islands. The floating islands of the dislodged. Icy orgies of stiff limbs and horrified faces, spinning above the clouds. These islands can sometimes be seen from the windows of passing aircraft. Hot air balloonists and hang gliders swear that if you soar close enough you can still hear the screams of the trapped bodies. It's a horror story.

I have a terrible fear of dislodgement myself. I sometimes imagine that I am becoming unstuck. Sometimes I worry that it is the rest of you that are floating off and that I'll be left here alone. The last man on earth with his two feet on the ground.

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