At elevation, I have a choice: push someone else off or jump. The choice is not hard. I’ve been alive for a while, and my life-preserving instincts are strong. So I walk to the ledge and look around for weakness, for women who are like me and not like me at all. On the ledge, it’s so easy to see weakness.
There she is. Her expression is open to the heights and the air. She’s not leaping yet, but she’s crying. Her cheeks are covered with tears. What is she feeling, I find myself wondering, but I don’t wonder about this for long. I walk up behind her and push her over the edge.
She goes off calmly, as if she had decided, long before now, that she would enjoy the fall. I watch her drop through the rocky layers. I see her body crash into the reef. I hear the sound of it echoing off the cliff, and peace overwhelms me.
He gets off his motorcycle and I am in my car and he seems surprised when I look at him blankly. He says, “License. Registration,” and I say, “What?” And he says, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” and I say, “So, Officer, it’s like this. There are things in my head that have to do with limits. Speed limits and limits of human decency and the like. There are things I think up, ideas I have, strange scenes that appear in my imagination. Sometimes the scenes move quickly and sometimes they move slowly, and some of them veer into unacceptable places, onto unforeseen paths. You look like a clean-cut guy, though, and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable by telling you these ideas that I have. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable and I think, if I shared them with you, you would be uncomfortable, and I see already from how you’re standing that you don’t want that. Maybe if you hadn’t phrased the question like you did, if you had put the words in a different order or used a synonym, things would be different then they are between you and me right now, but they aren’t different, and so the only thing for me to do is start my car again and drive away.” “License,” he repeats. “Registration.” I hand them over, but my mind continues on in its original direction. I turn the key. I take my foot off the brake, and my car idles forward. He walks beside me for two or three strides, scowling, and then tosses the documents into my lap.
Darcelle Bleau lives and writes in Baltimore. She edits Entangled: Art & Word, a collaborative project between visual artists and creative writers, and is working on a book about extreme sports.