By Andrew Ramirez
If the door’s unlocked and the alarm doesn’t sound, you can climb to the top of WPH at night, to the roof, and take a half-broken ladder to the highest ledge of the building where you can sit and watch the city from the highest point on campus.
It depends what your expectations are, but the city at night and that high up, all its lights burning, feels deeply satisfying. Try it sometime. Try feeling satisfied just sitting there. Try feeling satisfied imagining the length of time it would take to fall from that ledge to the ground. Estimate it, break it down to the number seconds, and picture yourself staring, broken and mangled, back up at the ledge from where you came.
Add a little color to your life. Try thinking about something like that. What’s wrong with thinking about something like that? Who said we should always be happy? If it’s too much, take baby steps. Start somewhere easier, like on your front porch, a place you know, drinking some pink drink and watching your neighborhood. Then find your neighbor strolling up to you with a bloody nose and smiling. Smile back at your neighbor. Take the mini-umbrella or feather from your girly drink and use it to make your neighbor sneeze a little blood on you. Start with just that much color—deep red and only a few spots. Work your way up from there. What’s wrong with going from pink to red?
Well then. Where does it end?
Do you remember the forest fires and how the orange hellish haze covered the city of Angels?
Do you remember the last earthquake and how the blue and empty chlorinated pool overflowed in splashing waves?
Do you remember the windy helicopter that shone a light on you that one night, in the darkness, and the lone column of white descending from above made you lift up on your tip-toes?
Do you remember the bearded black man sitting on the corner of Jefferson and Hoover?
He looked up to you and asked for a little change. He looked up to you and said God bless you.
You: at the highest point of your life. You: estimating the amount of time it will take to fall into the ground.
You: watching the helicopters in the sky, like night birds with single shining white eyes.
Well, you say.
A little change? He says.
Please, you say, I say, we all say. Not right now.