Eyes closed, you breathe in. You breathe out. The air is cold and goosebumps rise to the surface of your skin. You are hyper aware of everything around you, the cars rushing by far below, the sirens in the distance, voices inside. Your eyes open and you look straight out to the building across from this one. The night is clear, but you can't see any stars. You step up, one stiletto on the ledge and one safe on the balcony. Then you are crouching, both feet on the concrete strip that protects the balcony's occupants from a fall into city traffic 40 stories straight down. You close your eyes, reaching inside your self for balance and courage. The invisible stars have aligned and you know this is right. You stand up tall, slow and steady, reaching two long arms up for a hold on the balcony above. You breathe the danger in. The thrill of calmly looking into the eyes of death. None of it matters at this moment, not the clothes or the make-up, connections and statistics and money. Its just this moment of chilling danger. You look down for the first time, taking in the glittering buildings and streets and the far away cars and people. Despite the instinct, you remain completely calm. A slam of glass sliding doors and the swooshing close of curtains brings you back. Sharp voices start, interrupting the peace you held moments before. You know vaguely that you know this woman, that her panic and alarm must have something to do with what you are doing right now. Your heart picks up pace and you are suddenly aware of what you are doing. standing inches from a fatal plunge, on the edge of the balcony of society's favorite golden boy. Your golden boy. You don't want to fall, the thrill is gone and fear rushes in. The voice is higher and in pitch and volume now, and you want more than anything to get down to safety, and back into the party. You tremble, losing your cat-like balance of a few seconds ago. One toe slips out, the spiked heel of your shoe catching the edge. You tumble forward, in slow motion you watch the woman scream horrified, spinning you fall screaming a little louder than the woman. You look up, watching the balcony get smaller. You go quiet, the yelp short and high. You brace for impact, knowing the concrete is near. You've gone too far over the edge.
Over the Edge
January 1, 2011