Hanging limp and impotent from our bedroom doorknob, one of my remaining Mylar party balloons looked like a spent rubber cira the disco era.Â A huge one, but nonetheless the image came to my somewhat distorted mind.Â Attached to the languishing balloon was another Mylar balloon still filled tightly with the hope and promise helium delivers.Â I pondered the two balloons and saw commonalities found in human relationships–
â€œIf given the chance I could soar,â€ thinks the plump Red balloon, â€œbut Iâ€™m stuck with â€˜ol sad-sack Blue balloon hanging on to me for support.â€
Blue balloon knows of Red balloonâ€™s irritation and tries to move upwards, sideways, or just plain around with any available hint of air movement.Â To be the weight in their co-dependent situation not what she wants eitherâ€”what self-respecting balloon wants to turn into a fading metallic-colored prune?â€”but her helium is getting weak.
When they were young and inflated for the party, both Red and Blue strained against the slender colored ribbons that tethered them to the humanâ€™s grasp, bounced against each other, and reveled in the party adventure to come.Â Both were equally beautiful, strong, and buoyant. Â The future was now, and they were ready.
But as time elapsed Blue felt the pull of responsibility and her seal began to leak.Â She tried hard to hold up her end, but couldnâ€™t. Â Red, however, remained fresh and dashing.Â He wanted to go to more parties, dance on the breezes, and hang with deliriously happy revelers. Â Secretly, in quiet midnight moments, he hoped his ribbon would loosen from Blueâ€™s so he could see the world from the freedom of the skies.
As Blue bowed to gravity, she clung desperately to Red.Â â€œMaybe I can pass detection if he holds me close enough,â€ she thought.Â And yet each minute, hour, and day brought only more leakage and more loss.Â Red no longer felt the love he once carried for Blue, nor did he feel she was worth the trouble she was putting him through now.
As she drifted ever downward he puckered his displeasure.Â â€œPlease, go, Blue.Â Youâ€™re just dragging me down to your level,â€ Red hissed.Â With those words Blueâ€™s helium gave out with a final sigh, and she floated towards the floor, crushed.
That night the human snipped the ribbon and removed Blue.Â Red rose to the full extent of his ribbon.Â How exciting!Â He was now the remaining party balloon and maybe, just maybe, would get the adulation he deserved.
Funny thing, though. Without Blue the party atmosphere faded.Â Red realized, too late, that he was just a remnant of a celebration that was never about him or his good looks. Â The partyâ€”his reason for beingâ€”had not been contingent on how he floated or shimmered, it had been about the gathering of united joyful spirits.
Suddenly Red wished he could once again feel Blueâ€™s entangled ribbon, or the brush of her Mylar against his.Â But it was not to be.Â He was tethered to a doorknob, and would remain, alone, to dream of his happiest days.Â The days of dancing and bouncing with Blue.