San Francisco Pain

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She slips forward, an opaque shadow coasting along the bridge, her black coat trailing shadows of slick dust and hair. Clicking heels splash grime into the air, smog floating through her clothes and sticking to her skin like a hungry parasite searching for blood. Placing cold hands on the grimy metal siderail, she breathes in the sickly air, her eyes coasting along the gray sealine, the high mocking sun exploding in a painful clear light that shares no warmth. Ragged breaths become shorter, adrenaline flashing through her veins as she slaps back tears so familiar upon her face. Gravely white knuckles shake, thick metal standing firm and strict before her, its impassive strength scornful of the vulnerable shaking figure on the concrete below. Her faded hopes hue the day a dirty smear.
She is alarmed by a passing taxi, bright yellow industry flushing her back to the world as she now knows it. A splat of excrement falls, wasted white embodying the dark notion that has now poisoned her mind. Her grip tightens; she prepares to mount the railing, slim frame buffeted by the commanding ocean winds. Creaks of the metal cry out the pain of her spirit, ripped so cruelly from the dreams of future joy. Leaning forward, ponderously shifting her feet higher onto the crusted red rail, she is apart from the world, emotions fleeing her as she lords over the sea, casting dire glance at the toy boats idling in the child’s bathtub below. Power is hers. This life tilts forward, atoms crashing against their boundaries, every bolt of the bridge cheering her on, this woman, as she trepidates over the edge, bathtub water transforming to an unstoppable beast clamoring for her heart. Anguish tears through her, fear felt for the first moment since that dumbing numbness settled over her. The bridge snickers, dried blood coloring harsh steel, bolts clenching onto wire braces in disdainful mimicry of her grinding teeth. Far below, the bay water chops at salty air, the derisive laughter of seagulls clouding the sky as slicing inadequacy tears through her heart and she realizes she cannot jump. Easterly winds ease her down, smack gulls screeching encouragement as she melts from the edge and kneels on the ground to cry. Oil, rain, dirt. Grime, spit, and sand slip over the tarmac to wash into her tears, salt shipping down the concrete into a gutter where sickness is a green slime cloaking the underworld of a city and her tears are the only beautiful thing left.





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