The Balloon Launch

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

One of my most vivid memories as a child which also happens to be one of the most environmentally reckless decisions my elementary school had ever made was the balloon launch my school did on Halloween when I was in Kindergarten. I remember those cheesy trash bag cheapy Halloween costumes we used to buy in the 80s. I was Mickey Mouse that year. I remember entering Kindergarten was such a hard time for me because I was so horribly shy and anxious and I was always nauseous and gagging from my anxiety and I just hated being in school that first year. For some reason, this event was what helped solidify my position in school and made things seem not as dire as they had been at the beginning of the school year.

I grew up in Yonkers, New York. I went to a Catholic school for nine years (K-8th). The walk from my school to the nearest park was short so our entire school walked over to the local park with a balloon in hand. The balloon had a note attached. The note contained our names and the address of the school with a letter stated if found send us a letter. So when they blew the whistle it was our cue to release the balloon and watch the multitude of colored, helium-filled plastic ascend into the air. Their final destination was unknown. Whether they got wrapped around trees, or eventually descended into ponds, and lakes, damaging living beings’ eco-systems, or less likely landing by people, one would never know.

I remember how naïve and foolish I was then, and even now. I was very Catholic and I believed in all the teachings we were taught in school. I remember foolhardily wishing that my letter would be found and that I’d be the one who would get the letter sent to my school. I remember the ridiculous daydreams I’d have about it in class. Having my name called from the P.A. system. Me proudly walking down to the office to claim my letter of victory. “Ha, Ha! Suckers! My letter was found and yours wasn’t!”

But that victorious day never came. There were only two students in the whole school who got letters sent to them and of course, mine wasn’t one of them. Of course, it had to be someone from my class who was chosen and then one other from another grade that was chosen as well.

That Halloween, in general, was ill-fated. My Mickey Mouse costume did not make it the entire day. My older brother, who was a lot older than I was, walked me around our apartment complex and took me trick or treating and we didn’t make it past two apartments because as he was holding my hand in such a hurry because he was so mad to be trick or treating with his baby sister, I tripped and fell down the stairs ripping my costume straight down the middle. Hysterically crying, my brother now mortified, dropped me off to my mother and then he went off with his friends.

This was my first real experience with being let down by holidays. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I reminisced on all the past Easters my family and I had celebrated together and I realized how lackluster all holidays have become as an adult. You romanticize how things should really be and how they used to be. The new spring dresses, the pastel colors, the dyed eggs, the daffodils and tulips, the cherry blossoms, the birds chirping, the bees buzzing, the Easter bunny, the endless chocolate, the money gifts from relatives, the train of people coming in and out of your house, the long-ass masses we used to endure when we were practicing Catholics. Now, even though all those things still exist around us, they just don’t bear any meaning. That could also be the depression talking, but I just find it not as exciting and just feels like just another day to me. What I’m left with is the memories of all the past holidays. Every Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and so on where all of my family happened to be young and healthy and had the illusion of happiness and gratitude.

That Kindergarten Halloween was memorable to me not because I unceremoniously tumbled down hard clay tiled stairs successfully tearing off my entire costume Hulk-style. That Halloween was memorable because of that balloon launch. The explosion of colors, the anticipation, and excitement being a part of something greater than myself. That was the first time I felt like I was a part of the community around me. I felt included. I felt like I belonged. Now, as a jaded adult, I’m left to my own devices more than not. People only come around when they need me for something not because they actually want my company or attention. I’ve seen and done it all and I just don’t feel that magic anymore. No Technicolor, no enchantment, no hopes and dreams of a brighter future. This is it. All I have left are the memories of the colors, excitement, and that feeling in my stomach of anticipation and excitement. All I have to show for my Easter is a hollowed out feeling sitting in this chair in my “Stay Golden” Golden Girls t-shirt wondering if this is all I have left.

wynters-tale-outside-cover

On a brighter note, I want to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of my new audiobook for my novella, A Wynter’s Tale, so far. Please don’t forget to leave a review after you have listened to my book. I am so grateful to each and every one of you. Thanks for always coming back to keep reading my blogs, buying my work, listening to my podcasts and saying hi to me on social media. I haven’t been posting as often as I know I should. I have been trying to be present for my father. I don’t know how much time he has left, so the moments I have with him where he is having good days means that much more to me. I am happy to report that I am currently working on my next project. This work is a little more involved and I am hoping for a July 2019 release. So I am always plugging away at some new project. For those of you who are interested, you may purchase my audiobook in the orange link below (Just click on the orange link of your country of origin). Thank you all again! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter yesterday, to those who celebrated. Whatever you happen to celebrate, as always, I wish you all much happiness and good health!

The audiobook for A Wynter’s Tale (Written by PSG Lopes, Narrated by Chris Kenworthy): Available through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

US: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

UK: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

FR: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

DE: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

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