I was lying in the tub the other morning, trying not to contemplate the ever increasing amount of water I displace, when I chanced to look up at the bathroom ceiling. Believe me, this was the best of my chance-looking options.

And glancing at that ceiling I remembered as a young boy fantasizing about walking on ceilings in general, as if this would be the greatest of supernatural powers: to look at the world anew all upside and excitingly foreign. In my youth I could imagine happy day after day strolling along the ceilings of the family home, surprising my sister, freaking out the mail-man, finding out what all that stuff was that my mom put on top of the refrigerator.

But looking up that ceiling as an adult the other morning, from the self-esteem crushing waters of my bath, all I could imagine were the smoke detectors and light fixtures I would be stubbing my toes on; I thought about tripping over the tops of doorways as I gracelessly entered rooms. What sort of exciting power was that? Floors were made to be walked on, ceiling were made to be looked at suspiciously, scanning for the tell-tale signs that the upstairs neighbors have overflowed their kitchen sink again.

And I don’t even want to see the stuff I keep on the top of my refrigerator—that’s exactly why I keep it on the top of the refrigerator in the first place.

So, after the bathwater had grown sufficiently cold around me, I shaved and dressed and walked upon all the floors and sidewalks between home and the dingy basement office I work in. Which, I might add, has a drop ceiling that could never support my weight.

And thus another dream of youth has died.

Grant Bailie is the author of the novels Cloud 8 and Mortarville, as well as numerous stories online and in print. His latest novel, New Hope for Small Men is available in e-book form under the auspices of Necessary Fiction, where it was first serialized. His book TomorrowLand--an illustrated novel of sorts--is due out in the fall through Red Giant Books Mr. Bailie currently lives in Lakewood, Ohio, which is a stone’s throw from Cleveland. He knows this because sometimes the people in Cleveland throw stones.

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