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The Joy of Argument by Albert Navarra

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That God Might Bestow Upon Humanity the Gift of True Flight

by Nick Thomas

To God, Emperor of the Universe, Overlord of Existence,

Oh Lord, we lowly humans who are forever tethered to this giant ball of rock and dirt known as "Earth" beseech thee to bestow upon us the gift of true flight. We recognize that thou hast given us a great blessing in the form of airplanes and that our landfills will someday overflow with discarded hoverboards and jet packs. But we ask that we might have flight without fetters; that our bodies themselves might be capable of soaring into the heavens (though we ask that this be accomplished through a manner other than turning us into some sort of terrible man-bird creature).

Thinkest on the benefits that thou would reap.

Soaring through the heavens, we could give you high fives and run your intergalactic errands for you. Needest thou more rock for thine firmament? More diamonds for thine diadem? You shall have them. We will pluck these things from the depths, rise to astounding heights, and deposit them at your anthropomorphic feet. Dost thou need a bit of satellite? Some Milky Way from a starry night? Let humanity fly and we will swoop hither and yon, gathering whatever fuels thou might need to keep the great, galactic engines burning.

Now, thou might respond "I already have a mighty host of angels. What need have I for more winged sycophants?"

But angels are flimsy, wispy things. More light and sound and feathers than substance. An angel can't carry you a Starbucks coffee with its tiny, cherubic hands when thou art pulling an all-nighter, setting new suns to spinning. We humans, on the other hand, are made out of good-old, dependable dirt. We get shit done. If we can manage to go from being forest meat to mankind in the span of a few millennia, we can handle thine dry cleaning.

Doest thou need some smiting done? We smite the shit out of each other ALL THE TIME. We’re good at it. It’s perhaps what we do best. 

Though this, in all honestly, is problematic and is perhaps the true impetus for my entreaty. It is horrible. Lamentable. And I cannot help but think that If we could only fly, if we could simply slip away to taste the heavens, then we might smite each other a little less. We would, at the very least, likely be too far away from one another to do any real harm.   

And so, we beseech thee, oh Lord, for thine benefit and our own: give us the gift of flight. Let loose our earthly chains. Chase away our master gravity. Set us to work in the skies, gathering plasma from distant stars, carried like early-autumn honey home in mason jars. Zip us across the cosmos to collect red, yellow, blue, and white dwarfs. Set us on the cusp of a black hole and we will scoop up its infinite dark, place it in a cone, and bring it for you to eat.

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