Friday, November 12, 2004

Free Falling, and It Don't Cost Me Nothin'

Does everyone have the urge to jump off balconies, or is it just me? I used to sit on the second floor of this giant amphitheatre at church services. There was a huge plastic protective barrier to keep the second tier folks from falling onto the people below. I'd sit there at God's hockey game (that's what it felt like behind the plexiglass--waiting to get nailed by some spiritual puck that would knock my teeth out). When I wasn't wondering if people spontaneously combusted, I'd have to restrain the urge to take a flying leap over the divide. It happens to me when I drive too(be afraid, be very afraid); I wonder how quickly the pain would pass if I swerved in front of the oncoming semi. Now, before you call the men in white coats to start the Thorazine drip, tell me you haven't had crazy thoughts. Tell me you haven't had the urge to scream out in a large crowd. Tell me you haven't had to bite your tongue sometimes. Yeah, I thought so; put the phone down or give your address before you give mine. On the contrarywise side, I have been in places where people stepped outside the proscribed behaviors. A screaming maniac running up on the platform quickly escorted out. Someone calling out loudly in a straight-laced Baptist service. And I felt the collective fear and discomfort--one of the ducklings stepped out of line. Quick, peck it and get it back into conformity. Or remove it. No trace left of dissension. My heart pounded for the return to normalcy. When it came I was both relieved and disappointed. Why is it I want to swan dive off any given second story with a half wall, and yet I cringe when someone else steals that thunder? Is that the dividing line between crazy and sane? I bit my tongue? I held my hands so they couldn't grip the bar and vault into space for that lovely free fall? Lovely until the contact came. It's not the falling that kills you. It's the landing. My free falling costs nothing because I won't do it, at least not so far. Is it because I'm too sane or too afraid?


Blogger _gentle said...

I used to wonder what would happen if I lightly touched the spinning blades of a paper shredder. Can't explain that ill curiosity but glad I never did it.

11/12/2004 02:15:00 PM  

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