The story is about an overworked and tired man named Johnny, who is standing at a bus stop waiting impatiently for the bus to arrive. Briefcase in hand, he is sleepy-eyed and weary but also anxious to get to work. He decides to close his eyes for just a moment, but when he opens them again, he realizes to his confusion that he is hovering slightly off the ground!
The others at the bus stop notice this strange event but try to ignore him, except for a little boy with a yellow balloon who finds it all fascinating. Johnny then begins to float upward higher in the air, not before dropping his briefcase at the boys feet making him let go of his balloon. As Johnny ascends, he tries everything he can to remain on the ground. He floats in between two buildings connected by clotheslines and he grabs a hold to some old woman’s underwear. Unfortunately for Johnny, the unsympathetic woman knocks him on the head with her cane through the window and he makes his way up again floating higher and higher. Johnny passes by a large skyscraper and tries to get the two window washers attention but they only notice for a moment and continue on with their work.
Johnny is now high above the city still terrified about the whole ordeal. It is not until he looks down at the city and sees the beauty of the world below that he begins to actually enjoy what’s happening. Now with his worries out the window, he stops floating up and smiles. The yellow balloon from the boy at the bus stop catches up to him and Johnny takes it in his hand. Johnny is now able to control his flight, and after a few graceful moves through the air he slowly and safely lands on the ground back at the bus stop.
Handing the balloon back to the boy, the bus finally comes. As everyone gets on, Johnny stays behind- watching the bus leave with the boy smiling at him with his balloon through the back window. With a new spring to his step, Johnny picks up his briefcase and walks away with a new and carefree outlook on life.