Every story I tell myself begins with a question, but today I am all out. There’s just a sense of void. A hole in my head and my heart. A need to fill it with something, anything. I wander through a litany of past vices looking for an old familiar tingle that might tell me what I want. Nothing trips a switch. Something new then. Something I have never done but always wanted to.
That is how I end up on this ledge. Twenty stories up and the wind is pretty fierce. I look straight down at the street. It’s not quite dark but the streetlights are on already. I can make out small hurried specks zipping along the sidewalks and little coloured rectangles zooming between them on a graphite ribbon. Reminds me of those videos of electrons, or was it microbes? Tiny tiny lives. Micro reflecting macro, or vice versa, depending on the size of your ego.
My ego is huge, but unhappy. All those dreams that blew up and away from my grasp. All the life I could have had if I’d just let go for three seconds. I try to count the number of people I think would miss me and come up with a very small number. Barely a handful. So this is really it. The famous existential crossroad. And here is my question. Do I step back and retrace my steps – the very definition of insanity – hoping for a different outcome? Do I go left or right? Or do I take one step forward and hope for the best?
A light rain falls and I can see a hundred tiny rainbows beneath the lamps down near the street. I giggle and step forward and… I don’t fall. My feet slap against the side of the building and I am walking down the side of this highrise as if I had magnetic feet and the word was all metal. The rain falls on my perpendicular limbs like a hundred tiny pins with blunt edges. My hair hangs down beside my ears like a crazy punk do all out of whack. Gravity still works but not on my feet, which just keep walking, one in front of the other, towards those little rainbows and the damp stone blocks. No one looks up, which kind of bugs me because this is pretty awesome. But I don’t want to yell about it either, because that would be so uncool. I walk all the way down and hop lightly onto the pavement. Like Audrey Hepburn on a Sunday afternoon, I walk back into my building and take the elevator up to my floor. Back in my apartment, grinning like a schoolgirl, I make a cup of chamomile tea with a dash of cyanide. I leave the front door unlocked.