Native state in biochemistry refers to structure in molecules. In metallurgy, it has to go with metals found relatively uncombined. In my brain, it refers to that place where I belong: great heights.
When I was a child, I experimented with heights all the time, much to the terror of my parents. I’ve dangled off the side of buildings, scaled them up and down, gone up to roofs that weren’t meant to be visited, and hovered over the edge of deadly bridges, staring down at clouds hiding the abyss.
Vertigo? What self-respecting giantess suffers from vertigo? Not me. I crave that rush of finding myself seeing everything down there, because in my heart, and in my mind, that’s where everything belongs. Down there. Where you are. Up here there’s nothing but space, neighboring stars and planets, and the rest of the Universe to keep me company.
Earth-from-space shots are my porn. Aerial shots of cities taken from planes are my porn. Every time I see one on the Internet, or while watching a TV show or movie, I get an unmistakeable physical response, impossible to relate to anyone under 18 years of age. Even typing about it makes it happen.
So, how could I stop myself from watching The Walk? I only rented it for the aerial shots. Well, I also rented it because I wanted to see my Family Video guy, but he has stopped wearing plaid, got a haircut, and is grooming a hideous Satan beard, so he’s fallen out of favor. I still think he’s cute, but the chemistry died. Anyway, back to The Walk.
As you know, it’s the story of Philippe Petit’s World Trade Center walk. A nice movie, often moving. But I only watched it for the… yes, you guessed it. The porn. And it was fantastic. I sat there, imagining myself around 2,000’ in height, looking down at a city of infinitesimally small citizens, watching their little vehicles move so very slowly around my feet, feeling clouds graze my skin, hearing the wind deliver secret messages to my ears, and closing my eyes as I stood there, in my native state.
But I’ve been taller. As a child, I once got out of the car even though my dad told us to stay inside. We had to go across a short bridge, but it had no safety rails, no crash barriers, nothing to keep a car from careening off to the side. It had no sides. Only air, and clouds below. How could I not get out? I got out, and walked over to the edge, while part of my brain overheard my dad ask the bridge guard about the distance to the ground. When I heard the distance, I leaned over, holding onto nothing, and into nothingness. I looked down at those clouds swirling by, dozens of feet below. My dad saw me, and rushed to my side, screaming. It was worth it. Maybe stupid, but I was a child, and immortal. And in my native state.
I’ve also had some fun imagining my little guy as a wire walker, practicing the art just to entertain me, especially on days like today, when I’m suffering from painful menstrual cramps, and would like nothing more than the warm body of the man I adore to rest here, on my abdomen, as he massages it tenderly. On cold days like today, I would love it if he really existed, and I could cradle him very closely, instead of trying to put the pain out of my mind by writing about him.
Come, little man. Come to my native state, and be with me. I need you, and I want you.