I’m smoking cigarettes again. I have quit for periods. But I enjoy smoking. Nat Sherman Classic Menthol. They taste like spice and earth. Turkish coffee, Indian tea, French absinthe.
I smoke them at the window. She smokes one or two a day. I never could fathom that. For me, one is either in or out. Smoking or not. “Take a position!” I rant after a few drinks. “Not necessarily mine. Any position. Have an ethos!”
We drank Tuesday night. We don’t drink unless humanity remains in a dismal state. We drink every night. I fell asleep early. By 11:30. Black, intoxicated sleep. Nights like that, the nightmares don’t come until shortly before dawn. Later I would realize that she had no more than two glasses of weak white wine. For her that doesn’t even register.
I will never be certain of what I heard first, if it was not one horrific cacophony. I’ve tried. Nothing. Did one sound wake me; the next, coming almost simultaneously, shock me into consciousness? Somewhere, deep within the almost banal nightmare reality, two screeching screams and a sickening slap of flesh on unyielding brick.
Do you know how you know when your sky has fallen before it is resolved in your mind? I’m not sure I’ve ever known it with such immediacy. How long does it take raw terror to be processed by the biocomputer in the unbroken skull? Less time than it takes for me to spring from my bed, sprint some twelve feet to the window and stare down at my shattered star.
Lying there, unmoving, silent, flat on her back… I knew she was dead. Her world, our world, my world. Extinguished, like one of her tall, narrow jar candles with Catholic saints screen printed on it. She fell from the fucking window eleven meters at least no she didn’t she isn’t moving she did so dive out after her be with her now she’s gone we’re gone everything is gone and I will not cannot endure one more moment without her-
My legs move independent of my mind. Later, neighbors would tell me I was shouting, “no fuck no this is not real!” No pleas or prayers. Denying. Three floors down. Many stairs. Each one proclaiming, ” no one could survive this. Wake up! Fall asleep! This is happening!” It takes seconds to get to her. It took lifetimes to find her. Where is the blood she fell she didn’t fall out the window she is sitting up something else the last door was locked she was on the fire escape she is okay she is not okay-
I beg, ” what happened?!” I cry. I hold her. She is not saying much. She tries to stand. She wants to go home. Sirens now. Lights. Neighbors. Pigs. More pigs than paramedics. More pigs than people. Lazy, obstinate. Accusing. Murderers projecting. “My love?”
She rides off in a shrill chariot. I can’t go with. Surrounded by beasts in blue. Pushing. What is your name her name do you have ID why not were you drinking are you high why did you do it what did you do did you do something you did something. Evil eyes. Hate violence kill. Their world, not ours. Their fantasies. If she dies in hospital I will die in prison.
Somehow they leave. I dress and drive to where she is. Somehow she lives. Suffering incomprehensible pain. Somehow she is going to walk again, live again dream again. Somehow.