He stood on a ledge. No, he wasn’t about to jump. Fuck you for thinking that. He just liked the feeling of standing there with his toes touching the air and his heels on something solid, the breeze catching at his clothes and the sun glaring in his eyes. He liked feeling like he was teetering on the verge of something much bigger than he was. He liked seeing the world- or at least as much of it as he could see- laid out at his feet. He liked knowing that if he wanted to jump, he could. Or better yet, he could let himself fall. It would be so easy. It could be an accident. It could be fate. No one would know if it was on purpose. Maybe not even he would know. None of that mattered, because for a few moments, he could forget everything and just be calm and powerful and alive. Drugs didn’t do it for him. They left him feeling ill and uncomfortable and out of control in all the wrong ways. And sex just left him empty, like the act of tangling up with another person had scooped out his insides of all the best parts and spattered them on the walls. It reminded him that he wasn’t made right, that all his parts and pieces didn’t line up the way he knew they were supposed to. He used to write, but that was a long time ago. Now he had nothing else but this. Up here, his thoughts were sharper. Sharp like little glass shards, sometimes. He watched the traffic down below and thought about every girl and boy he’d ever loved, and the ones he’d never loved, and the ones he ought to have but couldn’t. Mostly he thought about the ones he might have loved if he’d gotten the chance. Occasionally he wondered if he’d loved any of them at all. If he even could. He thought about his father, a man he knew next to nothing about and yet who’d known him inside and out, who’d been the one person in the world that ever truly understood him. A man who had left him behind, gone far away beyond where he was able to follow, and now he sat at the table with his mother and his brother and sister and he was the stranger and the curiosity and the odd duck out. Sometimes he hated his father, but always he missed him and he wished he could be half the man his father had been. And now and then he was terrified that he would be exactly the man his father had been. He took a deep breath of cold, heavy air. Regrets. So many regrets in such a short life. So many doors shut in his face, barred and locked. He wanted to take a hatchet to those doors. That was another thing that was nice about up here: no doors. Just open spaces and a long drop. He wasn’t suicidal, he really wasn’t. That was why he came up here. He was sick of being dead. --- This is what happens when I get drunk and listen to Coldplay, apparently.