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Cartoon Physics Part 1

 Children under, say, ten, shouldn't know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence.
At ten we are still learning the rules of cartoon animation, that if a man draws a door on a rock only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries will crash into the rock.
Ten-year-olds should stick with burning houses, car wrecks, ships going down -- earthbound, tangible disasters, arenas where they can be heroes.
You can run back into a burning house, sinking ships have lifeboats, the trucks will come with their ladders, if you jump you will be saved.
A child places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus, & drives across a city of sand.
She knows the exact spot it will skid, at which point the bridge will give, who will swim to safety & who will be pulled under by sharks.
She will learn that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff he will not fall until he notices his mistake.

by Nick Flynn
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