This originally appeared on my old blog…
The edge of nothing. Carefully, not that it matters at this point one way or the other, I curl my toes south, feeling for the concrete line in the sand. Straight forward, my eyes open and I feel his gaze upon me. Judging curiously behind tinted glass, frozen in the moment. His slack jawed awe fuels my inner concession. The papers in his hand slip from his grasp and free fall to the berber below, catching a ride back and forth on the resistance of the very same concoction I’m about to brave. My brain hiccups, my throat tightens and my lip curls to a smile in anticipation of the freedom before me.
“Step forward into the vast abyss,” my mind prompts me. I obey.
I close my eyes and the final song starts to play. Building slowly from a faint steady rhythm of 16th note high hats… bass on the downbeat…. blackness engulfs me and an army of butterflies stir to life… snare on the upbeat… the ocean tide crashes in my ears.
I open my eyes at the crescendo and focus on the papers across the chasm, still drifting helplessly to their next destination. My feet find their way above my head as my inner soundtrack nears the first break.
Refocusing toward my own destiny and the finality of my decision sets in. Time halts and only my stomach contests the change of direction. My smile falters then continues past it’s obligatory equator. The music stops. The ocean grows louder.
Closing my eyes again I feel my stomach twist itself into slip knot. The black returns, welcoming me inside with the promise of salvation for my bad decisions. Something tugs on my shirt and before I can turn to see, I hear the voice of my son.
“Are you ok, Daddy?” He sits down on the floor in front of me, smiling a toothless grin. I try to answer but can’t. The words are stuck, fighting to break free, tearing a hole on my throat… yet there effort is pointless.
Sitting up on the couch I swing my feet to meet the sand below.
The waves continue to crash in a steady drum of confusion. I stand up and take the first obligatory step in their direction. Emerging from the crashing waves, her salt water locks of vibrant red brilliance silence the thunder rolling in on each wave until all I can focus on is the beating of my own heart. Pounding harder with every thrust of blood to and fro I feel like my chest is going to explode. The intense pain and panic curls me in on myself. I close my eyes to escape the siren’s gaze and find solace once again in the black.
The ocean waves are crashing louder. My heart seizes. Silence befalls me.
I risk my sanity and force my eyes open. The sting of 32 feet per second squared bites at my pupils. The flash of concrete racing toward me makes the feeling of freedom experienced only moments before a surreal reminder of how fast I’ve fallen both figuratively and physically. My eyes close around tears, either from the flight or the fear I do not know. It matters not. The black is my new home.
“Welcome home…” drifts in on the last wave, “we’ve missed you.”
“I have no fucking clue what just happened! I was walking to my window about to file today’s Z490 Day Sum when I looked up and saw him step up on the ledge… He… he fucking looked right at me. He smiled. Fuck. He fucking smiled! Who the fuck does that? I’m never getting that image out of my head… FUCK! I mean, c’mon… he just stepped off and pheweeeeewwww down he went. Why the fuck was he smiling?”