Finally I was righted and facing down the rapidly approaching ground. But still I did not die. With the tug of a cord, I stopped falling seemingly completely, held aloft like some dancing marionette by yards and yards of taut nylon. From there I drifted downward another mile, blissfully slow now, amazed by all the swimming pools in the towns below me. When I worked at the McDonalds down there, somewhere, briefly back in high school, those towns had always seemed so poor, but two decades later and miles above, it was another story altogether.
As the Earth approached, things sped up, pulling guide wires spun me around fast, making turns as fast as ricochets. I started to fear the landing more and more, but in the end the Earth was kind and took me back without so much as a bruise for all that had I cheated her hardness and gravity. And then it was over, buckles undone, feet back on the ground, hand slaps and embraces, waning exhilaration, and just a lingering pressure in my ears to remind that I just fell out of the sky.