Maybe if there had been someone willing and able to hold him completely, so that his gift left him altogether, he would have accepted the loss for the sake of the connection and made the adjustments necessary for living the way most people do, but in the early days, even at his weakest, he was always capable of a little stuttered jump in which he could recognize the bud of a flight, even if it didn’t take him off the ground for more than a few moments. And when no one was looking, it was sometimes capable of taking him farther and higher. He learned while still very young that he couldn’t rely on the gift, but when it failed, it always came back to him, like Samson’s long hair. So he was never able to think of himself as similar to other people, as sharing their predicament—he was never able to be one of them—and he couldn’t help but regard them, and their ideas of safety, with a certain amount of scorn.
“I will go home”: The feeling that summoned the flights had some of that character. “I will be who I have always been.” And some of that. “I will know myself a child of God.” And also some of that. He kept the gift to himself because he guessed that most people who learned about it would hate him. Their instinct, if they saw him fluttering along a wall like a moth trapped indoors, would be to crush him rather than to open a window. He felt scorn for them on account of this probable cruelty, too. He couldn’t believe in the justice of punishments that would be easy for him to escape from.