THE BREASTSTROKE - dawn corrigan

When we got back from space it turns out we could fly. Oh, not all 517. Only those who'd traveled beyond low Earth orbit had acquired the ability. Two dozen. And it wasn't really flying so much as a kind of swimming. There was no zooming through the air like Superman. Rather, you'd be thinking about what zero gravity felt like, and you'd take a step, and then instead of your foot landing on the ground it would land on air, which I know doesn't make sense but that's how it happened. The air would bear your weight and you’d swing your other foot forward, and that foot would land higher than the first, as though you were climbing an invisible staircase. And then--you couldn't help it--you'd push your arms together above your head and then separate them, like a person doing the breaststroke. And your body would follow. Once you had enough height there were loops, and flips--all in slow motion, like moving through a dream.

The twelve who’d walked on the moon, they could fly like Superman. Or so we heard. They never let us see, and they never came to our parties.

Dawn Corrigan
The Lone Pilgrim
Laurie Colwin