Every step I take towards the edge of the railing has already been made for me. It’s been planned, the city demands it. Another sacrifice to the gods of metal pillars and paper bills. Just another brick in the wall of the justice department.The rust covers every metal surface around. Corroding the very flesh of the city like a poison devouring it from the inside. And the scariest part is the realisation that I have just become part of it. A part of the city.Just a little ember. A dying light. A fainting piece of burnt paper on its way to the concrete floor of my inevitable downfall. Just another spine under the steel wheels of the city transit. Just another part of everyday life in the concrete jungle.
I breathe heavily as I clutch my coat. This is it. This is the end. I am not doing this shit anymore. Man has become prey. Hunted by the damn will of glass giants. And tomorrow I will just be another part of the morning news entertainment. Another version of the gladiatorial battles. And not because it is important. Not because they need to know. But because it is entertaining. Because train station suicide translates into measurable viewer traffic. And viewer traffic translates into Porches and paid vacations. Your tragedy is my muse. And when the show starts we will sit around telling our friends how horrible it is. How cruel it is. How unfair the world is. How someone really ought to do something about that. Then the weatherman comes on and grandmom brings us frosted flakes and milk while we pack our bags and head for the transit. The fucking transit. Just another day.
Everything is someone else’s fault. And someone else’s problem. And someone else’s mistake. And they deserved what is coming to them. Not because they actually deserve it but because it is coming for them, and why would anything bad ever come to a good person? It is better to accept the fact that sad people made themselves sad. Poor people chose to be poor. Cancer only happens to pedophiles. There is an order to everything. There is no chaos. There is an order to everything. And everything makes sense. Even the things that don’t. You did not murder me. I murdered myself.
My wife did not die. She gave up. That kid was not just born without legs. His mother was a prostitute. It’s the only reasonable explanation. My son had no reason to hang himself. Except his own reasons. And his own faults. And that is not connected to me. Or her. Or cancer. Or money. Or bullying. Or the internet. Or the media. Or guns. Or drugs. Or injustice. Or chaos. He was just being spoiled. He was just a bad person. A weak man. His struggles were nothing like mine. I step towards the edge. I was murdered. .
My life is not a failure. Society is. Society has failed. And it is all about success. And success is all about being first to have this year’s release of the iPhone. Fucking iPhones. I throw my Nokia across the rails to the wall on the other side shattering the glass casing of a poster box. The poster box, at the transit station. Behind the spectral cracks and veins parting the glass shards, she is staring at me. Hiding her face behind the pieces. Only looking at me through one clear shard of glass.
The girl on the poster. The accumulation of a decade worth of computer technology giving birth to the new line of product selling sex appeal. Perfect. Skin clear as the quiet water on a sleeping lake. Eyes as deep as the stormy oceans of the Atlantic sea. Hair as weightless and elegant as the clouds on a blue summer sky. And lips. Lips that talk to you without moving “take me” they say “want me” they demand. Murder me.
I take one step closer towards her, feeling my toes hanging over the bottomless abyss. Swallowing my own breath as I pull for air. So perfect. So fake. Like everything else. So inviting and completely shallow. Like drowning in a puddle. I try taking another step but I have reached the edge and the step turns into an awkward correction of my footing. The train is coming. Howling through the tunnels. Nothing but the emerging squeals of metal burning against metal. Cutting at itself like a razor to a porcelain plate. It gallops through the shadows. Murder me.
I would hide but it has already spotted me. With its glowing eyes cutting through the darkness. It howls at me. It wants me to know it is coming. It wants me to run. It dares me to leap. It’s looking for a hunt. I’m too afraid to look at its face. All I see is my shoes. My old rundown shoes- falling apart at the seams. It’s closing in. Fuck it. I lift one foot up out over the edge. I’m sweating through my coat. I bite my teeth and squeeze my eyes shut. Throwing my weight over the edge. She screams.
The train hits my front leg sending me spinning to the side landing on the platform as the rest of the train flies past my nose. I quickly get to my feet in a rush of adrenalin. Laughing and crying at the same time, as I stumble to my feet. I walk in circles. Then I lean on a pillar. “Oh my god! Are you okay?” She says with some convincing concern. I look out. The girl. It was not a poster at all. It was not a poster box it was a waiting room on the other side. She ran across the rails. “Jesus, are you alright?” she was a real girl. She climbed the platform and went over to grab my shoulder. “Hey, are you okay?” she repeated.
I forgot how to talk. My heart was still pumping fast and I felt like I was going to faint as most of my water contents rushed out my skin. “Yea, yea, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine.” Her breath was calming down, and so was mine. I just stared at her. As we both settled our hearts catching our breaths. Silence. The buzzing was gone, everything else was a blur. Everything else was silent. “Hey,” I said. She smiled. “You okay?” She put her hand on my head. I grabbed her hand and put it back down to her side as I swallowed. “Yea” I answered. She smiled.”We should get you checked out. Come on. Let me give you a ride to the hospital.” How kind. How considerate of her. Who was this angel? This being of which presence I am undeserving. My vision broadened and I realised she was wearing a conductor’s uniform.
“Yea, that would be very kind of you. Thank you” I whispered still enraptured in her eyes. Feathers were flying everywhere. She grabbed my hand and followed me out of the tunnel, and into the light. “Mom! Uncle Alfred is on the TV” Alright honey, now eat your cereal we are running late for the bus” Murder me.