Heights

Heights

A Story by E York
"

I wrote this and then my friend jumped off a bridge. Read and review; I'll do the same for you.

"

HEIGHTS

E York

 

The impact kills you. The impact breaks open your body, and you explode all over the ground. Your innards make art on the concrete or in the snow, wherever you land. Your legs snap, and your arms crack. Your head gains a halo of red that coats your hair and spreads around you.

So if the impact kills you, what is the fall like?

When you jump off a building, do you feel like you have wings until the moment you die? Are you afraid as you come closer and closer to embracing the Earth? Do you feel anything when you splatter, or is the pain, the ultimate agony of death, too much for your body to handle?

I dreamed of leaping from a building once, and as I fell, my heart constricted until I could not breathe, and my body tightened until I could not unclench my muscles. But that was only a dream, not reality; it did not answer my questions to what it would actually be like to kill myself.

When you die so violently, does your soul break too? Along with your many bones, is it too hard to piece your soul back together?

Sometimes I wonder if the people who leap from buildings and mountains feel like they’ve just ascended to Heaven and now want to experience Hell. Maybe they feel like they’ve only been in Hell and deserve a bit of Heaven. I wonder where those people go, with their hearts and minds already in fragments. Surely God would not send the depressed to Hell. That seems like the deepest cruelty, the harshest punishment. After all, they have only known Hell in their life on Earth, so perhaps a taste of Heaven could heal them.

But I am not God, not even close. If I were God, I would not imagine myself hurdling from a building to escape life. God lives forever. Sometimes I wonder if I want to live at all.

Staring down at a dead body, twisted and contorted, silent and still, I wonder what would happen if that were me. Would I have a ghost to cry over my remains, or would my soul move straight into the afterlife? Afterlife: I don’t even like the sound of that word. Isn’t life the very thing I think so hard of escaping?

I pause and see myself broken apart, blood running over my skin as if my veins were on my outside instead of within. I stop and picture myself with my innards littering the street. Could a policeperson write my loved ones a ticket because I had not cleaned up after my death? Then I move on, living life as though death could never catch me. But I think on death, I think on it’s meaning and sometimes wish for it, but only because it would make things uncomplicated; it would take all my problems away and leave me in reflective nothingness. And then I destroy that thought, knowing I would never actually kill myself, right? Isn’t it just a thought?

It’s just a thought…I think.

 

© 2008 E York


Author's Note

E York
My friend died. It's hard to look at this now because it reminds me of him.

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In your introduction you wrote 'I wrote this and then my friend jumped off a bridge.' I'm wondering if you felt an eerie premonition of this grave turn of events before it happened. That would be a depressing boulder to bear on your shoulders for the rest of your life.

I wrote a story a few years ago called Apartment 27 whose main character, an existentialist loner, rants about the meaning of life, asking himself whether anyone would care or even know if he expired that night. In the story the man was alone on New Year's Eve, feeling bitter about his lack of friends, staring at the dead phone just wondering when it would ring. In the end, however, he chose life.

One year after I wrote that amateur story my brother killed himself. On New Year's Eve. For a while I thought I had predicted his brutal demise. I condemned myself for doing nothing to stop his death. Now I think (struggle to believe) it was mere coincidence. I've forgiven myself for my inability to stop it.

Now more than two years after burying my brother I still think about the profound nature of suicide, only I'm more disconnected from the pain associated with it than I was before, and I still see evidence of its ripple effect. One night the moon fell into the sea and sent waves to topple all the nearby ships once perceived as unsinkable as the Titanic. And I nearly drowned.

By exploring subjects that haunt us we begin to understand them better.

Bravo.


Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

your writing is very good. i can picture the scene well in my mind from the fall to the remains from your description, you bring out a nice insight into the world with this piece i believe.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The images are so poignant in this piece and it's not the sugar coated version of suicide most people hear when everything just ends with the words, and now they're gone. This opens ones eyes to the painful reality of what the after math of suicide is. All the questions are always looming but perhaps we're never meant to know the answers. Great write.

Brette

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I find the words you use and the images they evoke to be clear, with a changing of mood that does not lend to confusion. Nicely done. The dramas and traumas that we experience are not always easy, but they do often bring about great art.

Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

In your introduction you wrote 'I wrote this and then my friend jumped off a bridge.' I'm wondering if you felt an eerie premonition of this grave turn of events before it happened. That would be a depressing boulder to bear on your shoulders for the rest of your life.

I wrote a story a few years ago called Apartment 27 whose main character, an existentialist loner, rants about the meaning of life, asking himself whether anyone would care or even know if he expired that night. In the story the man was alone on New Year's Eve, feeling bitter about his lack of friends, staring at the dead phone just wondering when it would ring. In the end, however, he chose life.

One year after I wrote that amateur story my brother killed himself. On New Year's Eve. For a while I thought I had predicted his brutal demise. I condemned myself for doing nothing to stop his death. Now I think (struggle to believe) it was mere coincidence. I've forgiven myself for my inability to stop it.

Now more than two years after burying my brother I still think about the profound nature of suicide, only I'm more disconnected from the pain associated with it than I was before, and I still see evidence of its ripple effect. One night the moon fell into the sea and sent waves to topple all the nearby ships once perceived as unsinkable as the Titanic. And I nearly drowned.

By exploring subjects that haunt us we begin to understand them better.

Bravo.


Posted 13 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 12, 2008
Last Updated on April 15, 2008

Author

E York
E York

About
I am 18 years old and about to graduate with a senior 4.0 from high school. I'm looking forward to graduation and the college years to come. I plan on receiving my Master's Degree in Nursing and my P... more..

Writing