A Tentative Excerpt
A sky with a streak of cloud and ambient light of sunset. A coast of skyscrapers. Wallace is standing with his feet on the ledge of a 22 story building. A helicopter is streaming live on breaking news, and an airplane could be heard in the distance. Policemen and firemen are down below with megaphones.
“I repeat. Please come down.” said a fireman, calmly with his megaphone.
There was a crowd of people below, a mass of bystanders that were filming the situation on their phones. Through the lens of a phone, they saw the world.
“How the hell did he get up there?!” shouted one of the officers. He was holding an assault rifle.
“Wow, look at those fucking dumbasses.” said Wallace to himself. The sounds around him, there was no need to care about them anymore. There was no need to care about all of the horrible things that were happening around him. There was no need to care about himself.
He put on earplugs and relaxed. He composed himself and made a real smile. It was a genuine smile that had not existed. Finally, he could just — rest.
“Hiya there human.” said Greg Norman from behind.
Wallace with his eyes closed pretended that he did not hear anything.
“HELLO. POOP HEAD. I’M TALKING TO YOU!” shouted Greg Norman.
Annoyed, Wallace opened his eyes. He sighed.
“Oh, great a fuckin’ weirdo. Look there’s no way you’re gonna convince me from not jumping. I’m done with this shit.”
“Ooooooo. I think you’re mistaken.”
Without a care, Greg Norman did a front flip landing right on the ledge next to Wallace.
Startled, Wallace jerked his body to the side, “What the fuck are you doing!”.
“You know, the humidity is great for a double suicide. But then again, death is so tangible. Too certain and predictable. Oh Well. So when we jumping poop head.”
Wallace was incredibly annoyed. It seemed that every time that he tried to die that some invisible force in the world would stop him.
In fact, his first attempt involved a hanging but the ceiling crumbled on top of him instead. A bunch of plaster had gotten into both his eyes, mouth, and lungs. He ended up coughing for the whole week with red eyes.
His second attempt involved jumping off of a 13 story building but luck was just not on his side when a group of men happened to be moving a large trampoline down the sidewalk. It was a surreal moment of betrayal — that reality would play him for such a fool. He survived with mere contusions on his body.
Consequently, he was determined to make this attempt his last.
“Motherfucker. Please. Get the fuck out of here. This is my spot. Go somewhere else to die.”
“C’mon man. When we doin’ it! We’d be all over the news and be famous for like a week or two. We got to do it before some other peeps steal our great idea.”
With his hand over his brow, Greg looked down with big glorious eyes onto the crowd of strangers with their flashing smartphones. His eyes were the green of the Amazon Rainforest, bridling with eccentricity.
The policemen on their megaphones yelled, “Please step away from the ledge. I repeat. Please step away from the ledge.”
“Wow! Man, the view is great but not as high as Zhangzhou Mountains. I was just there last night. There’s like a big temple at the top and a big hole — ”
“Nobody fucking cares.”
Greg began to do pull-ups on the ledge of the 22 story building.
“So why haven’t you done it yet? I promise I’ll go as soon as you go.”
“Just wait a fucking second. I’m just getting my mind ready…”
“Well, while you’re thinking about it. Want some peanuts?”.
“Wait, peanuts? Why the fuck would I want peanuts right now you dumbass motherfucker.”
Greg began to do pullups with one arm and took out an open bag of salted peanuts. He poured some into his mouth.
“C’mon man. I KNOW you want some peanuts right now. Ya look too hydrated right now. We must have the correct amount of sodium in our bodies. ”
Wallace’s face began to twitch. It was about to do something absolutely unexpected. He closed his eyes in resistance, and he could hear the sounds of the helicopter, the officers, the bystanders, and — the munching. The sound of the munching was louder than everything. It was too loud. It was louder than the helicopter. It was louder than the megaphones. It was louder than the murmurs of the mass of people below.
“Actually, I change my mind. Let’s go somewhere higher!” shouted Greg. He flipped upright and put his hand on Wallace’s shoulder. Instantly, they disappeared to the mass confusion of the audience below. And simultaneously, everyone’s phones began to short-circuit with a white smoke. Even the camera that the helicopters carried were out of use.
Wallace found himself near the top of the tallest building in the city that doubly served as a radio tower. The wind was blowing even stronger.
“Ah. Fresh air.” said Greg with his arms outstretched and his body leaning dangerously forward. But a look of fear gripped Wallace’s eyes. There was a large object in the distance.
“Oh, would you look at that! It’s a little birdie!”.
An airplane was headed towards the tower.