Across the Manhattan Bridge that evening I sat astride the stained window and tried to count the girter’s. “Fwump, fwump, fwump…” Faster and faster they passed as they turned and became the cross beams that sustained this structure that supported dreams and crossings. I could not possibly keep count so I racked the focus of my eyes to the background of the city scape that always left me breathless during this daily crossing. Many overlooked it, while speaking the last few moments before the tunnel, or sellatiously pearing at page 6, but not me. I always reveled in it. I wondered to myself as it became the landscape that led to the sadness of Chinatown. “Why do things look more beautiful from a distance”, I wondered, just like this view, just like this city, just like things sentimental. I wanted to be closer to it, but over time fear outgrew my desire for it. I fixed my gaze always toward obtaining peace and things more safe.
Sara had just called, “Did you bring the gun?”, she had asked, “No”, I said, “We still need to think things through”. “See, this is you Avery! Goddamn it! Deconstruct every fucking detail of something until you have no idea what it was to begin with. Fuck! Your such a coward…such a fucking…uhhh”, she had either hung up or I had lost her. Of course, I believed the latter. It was ridiculous, but I thought that it was to hot to carry a gun that morning, I might sweat too much to keep hold. So I snuck out before she woke. I knew she wanted me to meet her at the crosstown L at Union Square at 6:10. “Too many people…Too hot…Not ready to shoot…Gotta think things through…yes, think things through”, I revisited my justification. Sara had always been the one to jump, always the one to short cut passed thinking. The one that had got us here. 5 years now and she was still the doer. When we were young we had once timidly traversed a broken train trestle with friends. We were 17 and completely funked on acid just walking about trying to find a purpose…a destination. All of us. There had been a relentless torrent of rain, thunder, and flashes that night. We could only make one tie at a time. Each time lightning had struck we leaped to another. Slowly, attempting to keep our family together we made our way. Those who felt scared shitless just followed the others like soldiers in a mine field, following exact steps, however random. Eyes on our feet and the tie below. “CRASH!” jump. “CRASH!” jump. It must have taken an hour to reach the middle and Sara was first. I pushed back my rainsoaked blond hair and tried to make out the forms of my friends through the water on my face. I remember laughing like a mad man, hooting, and howling while thanking her to myself. Sara, never content to bask, had smiled at me knowingly during the downpour and flashes and completely stripped naked, to the bone. No one had time to contemplate if it was safe. And why would they when we had come this far? All stood stunned not knowing in the daze of the drug if they were seeing and experiencing what they were seeing and experiencing. Much like a photograph where you only witnessed what was framed for you. We had all watched her rain soaked body become clearer. To see her come apart was breathtaking in the seconds during flashes, the wildness, the abandon. She seemed to have complete control over all that was reckless in that blink of a dialated eye. But we could not drink of it. As in all things this too would be fleeting. She screamed, “Are you coming?”.At the erstwhile antithesis of inhibition, at that moment I had said I wasn’t ready. With complete confidence, “are we ever!?”, she screamed, turned, and jumped. Eyes closed she spread her arms as if to invite any outcome, any result of this chance she took. She dared life to define what was destined. “CRASH! CRASH! CRASH!” It seemed in hyper-slow she fell and as she splashed down the sky let go a lolloping bolt that made landfall just feet away from the other end of the trestle. In one motion we all had moved to pear over the decaying platform down to the water below. She had vanished beneath the torrent of rain and waves. What seemed like the Colorado River at it’s most aggregious, which of course was mulitplied by a thousand from the power of the doses. She was gone. She was gone. Fright hit us like a punch. As if we were Burbick and the result of this moment was Tyson, hitting us with a force that knocked us completely from the ring of our reality. We seamed to sober to the thought of sudden danger, if only for this milli-second. Suddenly, her black hair broke the surface of the river breakers and with the pure power of a women screamed a howl that stays with me still, “AAHHHOOOWWWYYYEEEAAHHH!” In unison this group that surrounded me broke into a cheer that muted the torrential revenge that the sky was exacting from the ground around us. We immediately stripped to the naked and young forms that God had intended and followed her in, to be baptized by her spirit, to be apostles of her courage, and witnesses to her religion. This had been our rapture.
I knew I was going to hear it as I walked the last couple of blocks to the apartment. I knew I had to dot the i’s even if she didn’t. Sara lacked the forethought that would assure a getaway. She didn’t lack the willingness to go through with it ,though, and I knew that I did. The most difficult thing between us was always what came after what Sara decided, not the act. The bottom line was Sara didn’t give a fuck. Sara didn’t have to because she would always break through the surface and I had always been the one who tried to keep from drowning. As I walked up the stoop, in the heat of the dusk, feeling how the daylight sun had warmed the hand rail, I knew to myself that it would happen tomorrow. There would be no choice in that.
A continuing tale of what one will do to be more than they are.