couldn't help but smile starry-eyed at the way the arc-lit snowflakes
dissolved into half-frozen black mush on the mud of the construction
sight; it was like walking on an undulating sponge that protested
with a squish at each step. She heard each squish as a word:
"Yech! Shit! Shoes with thick soles! Quit!"
was nearly nineteen; you could see from the half-knowing look
that danced around her eyes as she smiled that she had recently
passed boy-craziness into the realm of adulthood. She wasn't
exactly pretty, at least not in the state in which she awoke,
but after bolstering her confidence by applying the contents
of thirteen little bottles to her face, hair, eyes, armpits,
and stomach, she could hold her head high with a certain charming
knowledge of her own attractiveness that was an attractiveness
in itself. Still, a trace of adventurous ingenuousness lit her
face, and added bounce to her youthful step.
had met 'Gordy' at a nightclub a few hours ago, and he had given
her a wonderful drug. What had he called it again? She didn't
want to think about it. She had been brought up to mistrust drugs,
but once she had determined to be adventurous on this rare Saturday
night off from work, she had found herself drawn farther and
farther into it, until she couldn't say no. Anyway, she told
her self, I don't care; how could she, when everything smiled
at her so reassuringly?
her, Gordy was thinking less disjointedly. Clearly Beth was sufficiently
spaced out to keep her occupied for a while, he thought as he
glanced at his watch, but at a certain point she would nonetheless
start asking questions. No amount of preparation could cover
all the bases. Usually when the questions came he had no good
answers prepared, and had to think on his feet. But then, that
was part of the thrill of the whole thing, the pause, the stutter
that he could not prevent, and the wonderful glow when his lies
were believed. He could not help but try to come up with excuses
as they walked. It was entertaining, and they might come in handy
someday. He hated it when it came to a serious physical confrontation.
His hobby was an intellectual thrill. In any case, as they approached
he was coming up with answers.
had come to the hole in the fence that surrounded the hulking
superstructure of the skeletal tower. He lifted the fence up
for her. She stopped and looked at him again like she was seeing
him for the first time. She looked uneasy. A sudden qualm had
struck her as she realized she knew nothing about this person
she was walking with. She wasn't even quite certain where they
were anymore, or if she could find her way back.
are you?" she said timorously.
are you ?" he replied.
reply was spontaneous. He almost flinched after saying it-- and
as the story he was planning to tell her came to his lips she
said "I don't know."
want to know who I am, when you don't even know who you are yourself?"
he said. Enough had been said. She had been confused by the interchange
and would probably obey any command uttered in an authoritative
enough voice. "Come on," he said, gesturing to the
gap under the fence.
went under without asking any more questions although her expression
had sobered to a quizzical frown. She needed to be cheered. If
he made her laugh she would forget her mistrust. Gordy stopped
at a half filled bag of concrete with a huge tear that had been
snowed on and was half solid. "Look!" he said, grinning
like a circus clown, "A volacano! Or a cabbage patch kid!"
He kicked his foot through the half-solid stuff: "The Grand
Canyon!" While Beth was doubled over in laughter, he pulled
the lever for the elevator.
he turned around, she was writing in the concrete like a little
child. The concrete had become solid stone, and her finger had
attained ultimate strength. Meanwhile, an iron post holding up
the fence dripped to the ground, slithered snakelike up to her,
kissed her on the face, and tried to whisper in her ear. She
pushed it away; it was spoiling her concentration.
lift arrived and Gordy coaxed her onto it. He had planned the
line that would make a ride on the open lift seem attractive.
"Do you want to see the top of the world?"
"Gorgy... oops-- I meant Gordy," she whined,
snuggling up to him-- "I thought you were going to take me
to your apartment..."
wanted to do it then and there, and his hands shook with the
effort it took to curb his impulse. He was almost frightened
at his inability to control himself.
She seemed so different now, with her head lolling a little to
one side, and the black of her pupils obliterating her blue irises.
She had seemed so innocent before, so virginal. Now she was just
like a prostitute-- sliming on him, not caring when her breasts
rubbed against his chest.
heavily, he pushed her away to arm's length, bending sideways
to look straight into her eyes. "Would you like to make
love in heaven?"
she said. His words had come like vaporous breath from his lips
and dissipated in the air before she could read them.
didn't notice that he was shaking her, and the adrenalin made
the blood pound in his ears as he said "We can take this
elevator to heaven and make love among the clouds and the twinkling
she said, stepping onto the lift. "Let's do it right here,
like in Fatal Attraction ."
like that, thought Gordy. That easy.
said Gordy, joining her. "We can do that."
began to peel her clothes off as the lift soared rapidly into
the air with a rhythmic metallic clank that echoed in Beth's
ears as if it came from the other end of a long hallway. She
had many clothes to peel off. First her winter coat, which Gordy
threw over the side of the open lift. The air caught it as it
flapped its sleeves and flew off into the starry sky. Then her
vest, which dissappeared without Gordy having to go through the
effort of unsnapping the six snaps. Beth became distracted by
the glorious sight of the dancing buildings receding below her,
and when she returned her eyes to Gordy, she suddenly realized
she was on drugs, naked and very cold on the top of a building
under construction with a man she didn't know at all. A wide
smile spread across her face. She looked grinning into Gordy's
eyes. "So this is the wild life." Her voice sounded
funny to her in the rarified air, thin and tinny.
familiar joyous, buoyant hollowness rose in Gordy's throat, but
he forced his face to stay calm-- for effect.
said Gordy, rolling her over the edge of the lift and watching
her rapid descent to the ground far below. "This is the
his way to the car, Gordy encountered the pile of damp concrete
beside the huge circle of blood. In the concrete she had written
"Gordy+Beth?" in a heart. He erased it with his foot
and lit a cigarette, kicking aside the snakelike fence-post.
It didn't want to kiss him anyway.
poem written by JASON PAUL FOX. You
MUST credit my authorship when reproducing this poem in any way!
Violators are prosecuted, no joke!
I'm living off the generosity of plagiarists now!
(It's OK to give my poem to friends or people at school, if you credit me and
don't make money off it)