Singles: Given to Fly
Author’s Notes: This Story is inspired by Pearl Jam’s “Given to Fly.” I did reword some of the lyrics in it, I want to give Eddie Vedder credit for the lyrics and Mike McCready credit for the music, if not for the music I would not have been inspired so much by the song.
I also want to give thanks and credit to everyone who reads my stories. Everyone who read my stories has helped me become a better writer. It inspires me to do my best knowing that people get some sort of enjoyment out of the thoughts in my head which I put down on paper.
Layne Rodgers came home from a two year deployment in the Middle East which lasted over three years and he stopped in the local waterhole to catch up with his friends. It was early so the only one of his buddies who was there was Jerome Dion. Layne was hoping that if anyone was the only one there, it would be Jerome. This was not for they were best friends, it was for Jerome was the bard of the group. Jerome kept the oral history of him and his friends to pass down to the next generation.
Jerome saw Layne come into the bar and raised his glass to his brother who has returned. Those two were not blood, the Clan Dion was not confined by DNA. Those whose were close to Jerome became his brothers, sisters,mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, nephews, neices and cousins. In returned Jerome became their brother, father, uncle, nephew and cousin.
On Layne’s way, to his brother from another mother, Jerome bought him a beer and a shot which was waiting for Layne as he sat down next to his friend. They raised their shot glasses and gave the each other the group’s standard salute “May the best of our past be the worst of our future.”
They got up and hugged each other. Layne said “Brother Jerome, it is great to see you.”
Jerome returned the goodwill “Hello Brother Layne my friend it is great that we finally meet again. How are you doing?”
Here is why Jerome was such a great storyteller, he wanted to know how Layne was doing, what he has been up to. He was concerned that his friend was having a good life and on a journey to becoming a better person. Jerome wanted to pass the wisdom we all have to give from one to another. He wanted people to be the best they could be.
Layne said “Now I am great: I am home, have a beer in front of me, going to be surrounded by more friends soon and best of all I do not have to be concerned about anyone trying to kill me.
I will cover what I been up to in more detail later, when more of our people are around.
Enough about me, how about yourself.”
Jerome gave a quick reply of things were going great. His music shop was going to expand to two music shops, and he was enjoying teaching the drums.
Their talk became exactly what the weary warrior wanted, his brother weaving the story of each one of their friends into the tale of who they were and were becoming. Layne was wondering about poor Jerry. That lost soul had a special place in Layne’s heart. Jerry had so much potential if he tuned into it, but he just decided to tune out.
Layne finally asked Jerome about Jerry.
The raconteur, with a spark in his eye and voice said “You mean sister Courtney.”
Layne in shock said what.
Jerome smiled for he liked to recite this ode and said “Let me tell you a story about a broken down man who found his glory.
You know how we were all always pulling for Jerry to get his act together. While Stone, Jeff and and Dave went the tough love route. I do not blame them, Jerry was having a bad time and it seemed like nothing could save him. Then a couple more of us join in trying to make Jerry stop wasting his life.
Anyway the pressure from his family closed in on Jerry and he had to feel like he was in a long corridor. He ran down it, hundreds of miles away from us. He was gone, no one knew where.
Then we found out the corridor he went down ended at the beach. He was just trying to escape and ran out of any place to go. Jerry started his old habit of always having a smoke, if you know what I mean.
He was lost by himself at the crowded beach. Then a lady, Esen, befriended him. She walked up to him and just took the joint out of his hand and threw it in the sea. Jerry was so pissed, then Esen’s words crashed into his reality like a fist to the jaw.
Courtney told me what Esen said and it was “Friend, that is not the key to unlock you from the chains of unhappiness. Being who you are meant to be is the key.
Don’t waste the time you have by being wasted. Spend it by helping others to help yourself realize your true self. Let me help myself become who I should be by helping you.”
Those words brought Jerry to his knees and tears of joy and relief to his eyes. The lost soul was found and knew that this one lady rescue party was going to give him the wings to fly up from his canyon of despair to meet his true potential.
Esen took Jerry in and never spoke of how Jerry needed to better himself. She just gave her support, silent but strong. Jerry was turning his life around, but still in the darkness of his canyon. He knew how to get the wings to soar out of it but was scared to put them on. His pillar of strength might reject him. Little did he know that Esen was not his pillar of strength and that he was. Esen was the light which shined on him so Jerry could see how strong he really was.
Then one day our weak willed friend almost broke down to buy those chains which held him back in unhappiness. As Jerry was making his way to his supplier he came across a store which sold wings. He went inside and the customers all stared at him for how nervous he was.
The wingless angel, then saw his wings. They were light and sky blue. Right then the man on parole knew he got a pardon. He would never be burden by the chains of unhappiness again. Jerry went from uncertainty to confident when he picked up his wings.
All the customers knew that those wings were for Jerry. Some with their glares showed their disapproval, their negative attitude just bounced off of the man who was going to fly. He knew they were just jealous he found his keys and they were still looking for theirs. Most of his fellow shoppers for happiness either did not care or were happy for Jerry. Courtney told me one of the customers said that those wings were going to look nice on Courtney.
As Jerry went to buy the wings, the salesclerk asked her customer if he wanted to make sure the wings fit. Jerry knew that they would but did so anyway. Jerry went into the dressing room and Courtney came out.
Courtney went to the mirror to see how her wings looked and knew that she needed shoes and tights to go along with her nice skyblue V-waist dress. She turned her hips to watch the dress just flow. The sales clerk came up and said how great that dress looked on Courtney.
Courtney agreed and told the lady who was serving her the new plans. Courtney needed shoes, tights and also a purse for she was going to wear her purchases when she left the store if that was fine. The sales lady was more than happy to oblige Courtney’s request.
Courtney came home and saw Esen there and without batting an eye at her roommate new outfit, said “Hi.”
Courtney hugged her mentor and said “How did you know I should be Courtney and not Jerry.”
Esen answer was “I did not know that, Courtney, I knew you were unhappy and looking for happiness. I wanted to show you happiness for you should be happy.”
Courtney asked Esen if she would show her how to be the woman she should had always been.
Again Courtney told me Esen’s words “Dear, you are already Courtney. I can and will show you how to project her to others. What I am showing you is not important, your essence is. I will help you project your essence into the physical world, so those who only see with their eyes would also see the real you.”
The next couple of years Courtney took all the steps to transition her legal and physical being to be the same as her essence. Along the way she hone her understanding of happiness with the guidance of Esen.
Then the bittersweet day came where Courtney was her true self. It was the day she yearned for her entire life, but she dreaded it. The graduate of the school of life knew she had to leave her professor, Esen. Esen was as proud as a robin watching her fledgling fly out of the nest for the first and last time. They said their goodbyes. They knew the two of them would always have a connection and they promise that they would stay in touch, but they both knew that they would never be as close as they were then ever again.
Courtney came back home to spread the word of her secret to her friends. Her first stop was this bar. None of us happen to be here yet. Courtney told the barmaid who she used to be, and Lisa was so happy for Courtney.
A couple of faceless men overheard the conversation and thought they stripped Courtney of her pride when she teared up when their victim heard them call her a freak. Then continue to name call and demean her and Courtney said nothing, but more tears were forming in her eyes. The hurt men went to in for the kill of her ego with a stab of saying no man would ever want Courtney to be her man.
They thought that they killed her self-esteem when the tears started to flow from her eyes. They did not.”
Jerome stop for a second and looked towards a couple of those faceless men and said “While fuckers she still stands.”
Jerome then went back to telling Layne the story. “Her tears was not from pain those words gave her, but the pain which made those words come out. She told them she felt sorry for them and offer them the keys they needed to unlock themselves from the chains which hinder them from being their true selves.
The little mob of unhappy men dispersed when the sunlight of happiness hit them. I came into the bar and met Courtney for the first time. I never saw anyone who was so at peace with who they were.
Courtney does come back from time to time. Her job as a motivational speaker keeps her on the road a lot. She could be making a lot more money from her appearance fees but she only wants enough to get by. She said she wanted to give her love away, that she gets all the payment she needs by getting the loved which she saved in return. Sometimes when I see a strange spot in the sky I think of her, the man who was grounded which became the woman who was given to fly.”
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