October 27, 2010
By guilt_tripping BRONZE, West Lafayette, Indiana
guilt_tripping BRONZE, West Lafayette, Indiana
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I can’t remember how many pills I took. I can see them all lined up on my dresser, I can taste each white chalky pill pass through my lips like cherry candy. It replays in my memory. I can feel the twinge in my stomach, the gag reflex in my throat as I got past five, eleven, twenty-one, but where did I stop?
I can’t remember. I can’t remember. I can’t remember how long you’ve been here, but you walk into my room, appearing like an apparition out of the dark of the hallway. The floor creaks underneath the pressure of your feet as you lope towards me in that catlike, clutching way that you have. Moon light shines through my window, diffracting into prisms and stars that dance on your white forehead and pool in the hollows of your cheeks, hidden under the ivy of your tangled hair. Seeing you this way on this night makes me feel stark naked, like I’ve just stripped down and jumped into snow.
For a while we’re just standing in front of my window like this, my mind reeling and you looking at me quietly. You light a cigarette and ask, “Wanna go outside?” Suddenly I’m laughing, like this is the funniest or most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. My laugh shoots from my throat and falls like vomit onto the floor. It falls in ugly fragments of noises and screams I don’t remember making, breaking the peace around us. Your dark eyes are full of silent judgment, but you keep the cigarette clenched in your teeth and move to open my window.
I can’t feel my legs but they carry me out onto the fire escape. The night air hits me and we’re bathed in white light of a full moon. Every shadow looks like a terrible, deep bruise. Your tiny hand takes mine and leads me off the fire escape and onto the ledge that circles the outer wall of our building. Adrenaline churns the painkillers in my stomach, and fear courses through my blood. But I’m not really feeling it. I’m not really here. Tonight I’m somewhere else, far above everything. I am God, I am the devil, I am Adam discovering every sweet pang of human despair and tasting all the fruits of knowledge. And this universe I preside over is amazing, expanding and twisting and changing between every word and every thought.
We sink deeper into the thicket of darkness as I’m being led by you across the ledge, like a child following his mother, a god following the stars that birthed him. I’ve been on this path with you many a night, I’m sure. Each step feels more familiar than the one before it, but I can’t remember exactly where they lead. It’s like a strange, fevered, delicious dream where everything seems so real and yet unreal. I try to explain this to you, to utter it out loud, but the meaning gets caught in my throat. And now it doesn’t even make sense to me. . .
You keep walking, not looking at me. Maybe you’re even walking a bit faster. I follow this trick of the light, this thin ghost that’s come back to me on this surreal night. I follow you, merely an echo, across this ledge to whatever you might be leading me to. The wind whips against my skin, but I feel no cold. I feel no warmth. All I know is a giddy, light-hearted feeling bubbling up in my toes and my stomach.
This is the same joy every man before me has felt as he sees the light of God, just at the feet of death. This is hearing the harps of the angels. This is the high of heaven. I look below me, at this staggering height everyone below me looks like ants, milling around the dark streets to find a way home. I laugh at them in wonder, at how they will never know this high until it is too late to enjoy it. My laugh floats up, soft and sweet into the sky. It seems so strange on this night to be anything in this world, where those laughs are the closest to the angel’s song we will ever get.
And suddenly you’re not here. I’m swaddled in darkness, alone. I can’t remember when you left me, tonight or years ago. I can’t remember what life was before nights like these, and I don’t believe I’ll ever know again. Why would I want to? The higher I get, the lower I sink, the closer I am to God, and seeing you again.

The author's comments:
I wrote this about one of my friends last year...that's it.

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