The Undone Orbit of Another Stupid Human

Risk and trust. There is no need for doubt. Even as I say that I am afraid it isn't true. I don't want to let myself down. Here I stand again, at the unsure edge of myself. But today is different. Today a trickster is going to help me hurl myself over. Montreal 1995. I'm at a loft party and the usual late night restlessness starts to move my blood. I find an open window and climb onto the fire escape. I footfall to the roof and I'm thrilled by what I see. A one story structure with a rope hanging down the grey stone wall. The gods are fishing for fools. I try to scale it but I need some man hands. I rubber tire it back to the party and snag Chris, the yummy bike courier I've been playing with all night. Coffee colored and cream easy in his movements, he takes the bait and follows me up. He helps me knuckle up the wall and follows, chuckling and nervous. My energy is too bright. Such a sharp star is bound to fall.

It is wondrous on the roof. We can see water tower far in every direction. Pedestrian and traffic sounds drift up from Saint Laurent Boulevard. We peer over the edge to the littered back alley fifteen stories below. Ancient cracked asphalt is decorated by a loose old couch, empty boxes and spilled trash. I find a rusty pipe. A treasure. I want to throw it. Fling it far and make my own garbage mark. I spin around and around and around and then I throw the pipe. But momentum and gravity get the best of me. I don't let go in time. I don't let go at all. I throw myself off the building.

In an instant the brass night is flying past me. My plaid mini dress is blowing up and my legs are pedaling for an anchor. Black leather boots whisker twitch and find nothing but space. The courier's face is falling up. His almond eyes are popped open circles. His dread locks swing in slow motion, hanging towards my end. There isn't a breeze. There is just orange glow in the apron night. The gray wall slips past me, its pockmarked face old and knowing. I forget to scream.

Body mind takes over. Eyes see gravel approaching fast. Limbs snap into cat pose. Knees bend, hands splay, iodine blood wants another day. I land hard on one knee and my hands, still holding the pipe, split and bleed. But nothing breaks. I am still and geyser breath has slowed to tar. My fingers are already beginning to swell. My bare knee pokes through the torn black silk of my stockings. Gravel is embedded in the ripped flesh. Rusty slow I turn and look up to my witness. He is only one small building height above me, fifteen feet away and staring down, an astonished coco angel. The stars swing happily behind him, winking at the undone orbit of another stupid human. I have leapt off the right side. But I see the other side, crimson clear in my mind. A two hundred foot sheer drop to the pavement, and I grasp the body fall of that wrong side.

"Holy shit" Chris calls, "Are you okay?" I stand up stiffly and feel the dizzy rush as adrenalin slips away. I pitchfork the rusty pipe from my battered hand. Then I feel the creeping build of horror at my self-abuse. "No. No I'm not okay." But I have saved myself for one more day.