A. S., Westerly, RI
I wonder how far down that is.
Standing on the edge of a jutting cliff with the whole world opened up before me, I wonder how far down it is? The miles and miles of green forest melting into the bleeding horizon are beautiful, yes, but straight down is where my fascination lies.
I am barely aware of my ragged breathing as I stare at the amazing feat I have just overcome. The cliff I just ascended seems entirely vertical, an impossible climb from this angle. Feeling much like a mountain goat or a superwoman I revel in the rush of adrenaline pulsing throughout my body.
Yet it is neither my achievement nor the cliff itself which enthralls me, but the severe drop into space that the cliff creates. I am compelled to break the cardinal rule, to do the unthinkable - to poise at the precarious edge and look down.
Instead of the expected panic and vertigo that many experience when facing great heights, the siren song grips me immediately. My thoughts whirl with frightening speed as I am paralyzed by the irresistible allure of this dizzying drop.
I am swept by an incredible urge to fulfill my wildest fantasies and jump. Oh, what a feeling it must be to leap from all restraints and float freely to the ground below.
I wonder if I would have time to scream. To scream would mean adequate time to comprehend fully the meaning of the suicidal fall. Would I have time to watch the ground as it rises up to greet me in its deathly embrace? Would I comprehend the meaning of my menial existence even as I plummet to my demise?
Would I regret?
Reality is to feel the call of the jutting cliff, the open space, the beckoning treetops far below. To act upon this impulse would be insanity.
Listen for my screams.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.