Posted: June 6, 2012 in Short Story

ImageI always wanted to fly. Of course the landing is the thing. Hitting the ground is inevitable with gravity looming about, so why dwell on a guarantee.

Funny, well not really, but all I could think about as I body checked my swollen wooden apartment door was how much I hated my life. How much I hated work. How my part time job, road warrior/masshole, turned me into the darker side of goofy; which isn’t me or not someone I want to be. I tailgate an 80 year old woman and then had to stare her down as I cut her off after passing. I am not that person. How even when my back foot slipped on the top step foreshadowing a caution, I continued to pound – trying to get into safer ground. Rage consumed me as the inanimate taunted. I see twelve-hour LCD staring eye numbing, sore backside days, five days out of the seven enslaved, for what? A door that won’t open!

I feel I need to set the scene. I live on the second floor of a three family home. The door I am wrestling with is unwisely set at the top of a flight of ten steps, landing, another five, then the main door to the outside, a few more stairs a dozen feet or so and a sidewalk.

I unleashed a kick, shaking my apartment door. It does not satisfy me as the knob turns but the door remains. I haul out and kick again. I hear the crack of wood yet see no damage. I grab the knob and check again with my left shoulder. I was filled with rationale hate and taking it out on my front gate – that apparently can fight back.

Its first jab came in the form of slipping glass. Genius! The glass is inserted through the back so you can imagine my surprise. I looked on in shock as the glass window slowly slid down aiming for my left arm. I jerked it out of the way in time and accidentally sacrificed my right. The glass shattered on my wrist slicing deep into my flesh. Answering a silently whispered wish.  As the glass fell about me I was transfixed on the wound. I never noticed the door slowly opening; my path now made clear.  I can finally hit my apartment, sit on my couch watch some TV, smoke some weed – and decompress! But I was in shock as my body revealed its inner workings. The white chunks must be my fat and that ivory stone must be the bone. I was some what outside of myself. Unlike now as I tumble turn and thwack.

When the crimson came, no not crimson, fire engine red poured out of me with a ferocity I know I don’t have. I found myself trying to rewind the moments before it came but as it spread over my arm and covered my hand I began to come back to myself. “This is my blood”, suddenly dawned on me. My body, I can’t… I need… My mind spins faint, but I remain steadfast and awake.

I jerk my body and turn sharply slipping on myself, launching into the air. I reflect on my long lost dreams of NASA and how they might have counted this one down. I can see them now with their tight haircuts and clean pressed shirts. Sweat dripping from their brow as they tapped on screens and spoke into microphones. I fall back just grazing my skull with the top step. I must be ten feet above the landing moving in parallel with the steps. I have never wondered how this world might look if I walked on my hands, but here it is. My feet are sailing. I see my porch and my second level view of the inner city. My years of playing hide and seek ducking behind cars. Running home as the street lights turn on. When was I ever so little. Step, crack goes the left forearm as it smacks against the dry wall denting its fragility. I reach for the iron rial with the wounded right painting the wall with my temporary permanence. I start to laugh. I don’t know why, but I am hysterical as my cranium christens each brass crested plank. I’m an artist and here is my final work. Brilliant really. I white washed the walls and primed them approximately two years ago for this blue paint I never managed to apply. The red just pops practically 3D. I almost wish I had more time. I giggled feeling happy as my body retains damage. Sadistic? Most likely, but it suddenly occurred to me. I didn’t want for more time to edit medical documents. I didn’t want the traffic, the clothes, the dinner parties, the stress, or the truck. I wanted for something simple, honest. I wanted to live. I will quit my needy job and make way for another to their abuses. I hoped not to lose my courage with my momentum.

Ah, the landing. I manage to somehow right side myself. I see an opportunity to catch the landing with the left foot and perhaps just bounce back off the wall and rest bruised on the stairs. I flashed back to my more physical days reminiscing over how limber I once was. However I did have a nemesis and that thorn in my side had always been my left knee. I tore my ligament (MCL) when I was younger. They treated it with a brace for 6 months and PT. I think now they perform surgery. No matter what I did in life the knee always reminded me it had been injured. Why would now be any different? But, I had to try.

My left foot connects to the linoleum floor. I shift my weight, but my body turns. I refuse to let go of the one still thing and cause my knee to dislocate violently to the left. I feel nothing as I drop sharply. I crash, ear first into the wall. The reverb is amazing as it vibrates in tune with the beat of my heart. A sharp ring cut off the momentary beauty as my yard long arm slams against splattering the walls, reaching as far as the ceiling. My left leg turns. I grab it preventing its further damage, but lose my one chance to stop. Now in the fetal position I began to perform a perfect reverse swan dive, but was interrupted by the front door, which yielded to me easily opening, releasing me from the confines of the sunless hallway and out into the world. The warm rays hit me as if my skin had never tasted anything so sweet. The radiant heat and nutrition giving me hope. A blank canvas pops up in my mind as I dream away these last few moments. I see the work perfectly. It will be my feet in the air with the sky, electrical wires and city in the background. The colors will be thick and vibrant. I see another, mimicking the contrasts of my hallway. The sharp downward lines with accents of north moving freckles. I get it, I will call it the fall! Headfirst I skid across the patio bouncing down the cement blue steps; mocking my painting procrastination. I roll out of the front gate crashing into my beautiful black truck and lay on the cool cement fading.

What a trip.


Leave your mark or go for a walk. Both sound pretty nice.

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