chainsaw_headerIn the wee hours of a Wednesday morning, just before dawn. A lone vehicle sits silent on the city street. Waving like a white flag of surrender, a parking ticket beneath its wiper billows in the soft breeze.

A digital alarm sounds from within the confines of the car. Beneath blankets from the backseat a figure rises. Moments later, an early twenties man steps onto the street and dons a satchel.

Sealed envelopes, each endorsed by different names, filled with explanations and apologies, are placed with care on the dash. With keys left and locked inside, the vehicle is abandoned. As an after-thought the ticket is removed, crumpled and tossed to the curb.

At the rear of a small shoppe, an open window is inviting and entered. Four flights of stairs are ascended. A roof hatch is opened, exited and secured against interruption or rescue.

Looking out and over his final resting place, the man sits on the building’s edge. Assorted snacks and beverages are procured from his bag. Along with 3 books. Scripture, poetry and Poe to pass the time… until there are witnesses.

The first of these arrives unnoticed whilst he is engrossed in the Tell-Tale Heart. An older man, out for an early stroll, sights the youth. Taking up a bench across the way and lighting a cigarette to casually observe what drama may unfold.

Within the hour storefronts come alive. Doors are opened to the general public. Who, as if on que, began to pass on the sidewalk below.

LEDGES EDGESFeeling his un-captive audience has amassed, he steps onto the ledge and addresses his unknowing audience. Shouting of the meaninglessness of life and how unhappy he is within it. The world is unfair and unjust and without love, he no longer wants to live in it.

As his heart pours out, few look up, but none take notice. He is invisible from their lower perspective. His rant, barely audible over the city’s growing din. In frustration he hurls literature into the passersby.

A young couple walk arm in arm. Pointing, smiling and very much in love. Their first mutual day off from their budding careers in months. A day to share food, fun and one another. Until she is rendered unconscious by a blow from above.

Her companion catches, cradles and calls for help. Looking up, rage replaces concern. Within moments all are aware of “that a**hole” on the roof. Who begins repeating his rant. As others take notice more are drawn and offered opinions flower and flourish.

“Ah, might as well jump… JUMP! Go ahead and jump!”- Shouts an enthusiastic Van Halen fan.

“I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend. You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in.” pleads a 3rd Eye Blinded observer.

Unmoved masses begin to gather below. Eyes shielded against the sun. Watching, waiting to see what will happen next. Does throwing books constitute an active shooter situation? The shop’s proprietor takes the initiative and dials 911.

How often have you found yourself on the edge of the ledge? Dissatisfied with life. Wanting the world to know your pain. And nary an ear to hear.

When have you been the innocent bystander? Struck down for the sole purpose of another’s acknowledgment? Suffering as the result of someone else’s suffering.

Or have you come to the defense of the innocent? Crying out against the injustice of others. Who are hindered from being able to enjoy life because some do not.          

Have you ever encouraged the chaos? Why be the voice of reason? When the unreasonable outcome might be something much more spectacular.

Are you the relative calm in someone’s storm? Believing everyone should be happy and live life. Whether they really want to or not?

In leaning out, trying to see the damage he’d inadvertently wrought, the young man lost his footing. He somersaulted forward, his momentum carrying him into the limbs of a decoratively planted, room-for-nature, treetop. Which catapulted him back onto the building’s high awning. This in turn slid him down and deposited him gingerly into a plush flowerbed.

The herd stood back- not wanting to get involved. Only the original observer casually approached. Looking down at the young man’s dazed expression, he chuckled- “Did you think you’d really get out that easy?” I welcome almost all questions, comments via Focus, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.