Climbing The Empire State Building

February 8, 2009
By , Yardley, PA
My knees ache. My feet sweat. My back is like a stiff board. My big heavy New Balance sneakers clunk against the smooth, hard marble stairs.

My hair is damp with sweat, and my face is boiling purple. My shirt clings to my back and I'm wet. Everywhere. I push myself; pushing off the ground; pushing off onto the next miserable step. I grab the rail for support as I jog up the next few stairs.

and up.

and up,

and up,

and up,

and up,

Up I go...

My socks are fused to my feet, which melt into my shoes. Someone dropped an anvil on my chest, every breath rips my chest open. My arid, aching throat pleads for a drink. My lungs burst into flames but I dare not stop. I must continue to pursue my goal.



My knees ache and my calves scream for some rest. I push for the next step. My foot misses the edge completely and I feel myself falling. There's a sickly sweet feeling in my stomach for that second.


and down,

and down

I fall.

Almost too late I throw my arms out in front of me. I jolt to a stop; my shin hits some stair below me, my chin cracks against the marble. My teeth pierce my tongue, and I let out a small whimper. A faint taste of metal and salt fills my dry mouth. Blood. I gawk at the unpleasant taste. I push the pain aside and immediately find my feet.


I go
and up,

My head spins and the balls of my feet hurt. Up I go. Fire slashes my heels and I begin to feel them blister. Up I go. I can feel the beads of sweat stream down my face, hot and sticky. Up I go.

I round the next wall and sigh in relief. Finally, a dead end. Finally, no more stairs. Just that incredible, long-awaited gray door that reads, ' Employees Only'.

I sprint up those few short steps, my hands pressed to the door, I tilt my head up to take in a good, long breath. NO MORE STAIRS! I MADE IT! I'm DONE! The feeling of triumph overwhelms me.

I collapse where I stand.

I think I'll take the elevator down.

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