The first thing he thought of, after recognizing where he was, and what he was doing, was the Rolling Stones song, “Get Off of My Cloud.” Not really correct. Does correctness have degrees? Sure, they give partial credit to partially correct answers. Yes, but not in this situation. So, he corrected, not correct. He wasn’t on a cloud. He was on a contrail, as he’d learned they were called, a chemtrail, as others called them in the second half of his life.
Poisonous air vapors, they were. Surrounded by blue sky, he was walking on them. As he didn’t know how he’d reached them (nor how he could be walking on them), he believed he was dreaming. How high was he? Well, very high. He’d read that commercial aircraft generally fly over thirty thousand feet in the U.S. He assumed he was in U.S. air space, although nothing supported that assumption.
Physically, then, he wasn’t doing this, couldn’t be doing this, unless it was a dream or virtual reality. There was no way he could otherwise be surviving so comfortably at such an altitude. At this altitude, if it’s over thirty thousand feet, he was higher than Mount Everest. The air would be too thin for normal breathing, he was breathing normally, he ascertained with tests. At that altitude, the temperature would be forty-nine degrees below zero, or worse. He wasn’t dressed for that kind of cold.
But here he was, in his Lee jeans, knit shirt, Nikes, and Columbia Wear fleece, striding along without issue. Which presented the idea that maybe these contrails were far lower than they should be. That was absurd, of course; that’s not how they worked. Nevertheless, he stopped walking, turned, and looked over the side.
Big, big mistake.
He’d been able to see mountain tops and distant horizons of clustered buildings and farmland when walking along. But now, looking down, he found a true sense of his altitude, and it freaked him out. He was so freaked out, he should awaken at any moment now.
Nothing changed. He looked back and forth along his contrail. It stretched on for a long distance. He could do three things now. One, step off the contrail and see what happens. Two, follow the contrail and see if it led anywhere. Three, he could stand there and do nothing until the contrail faded away.