Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

Watching Her

I watch her standing up there. She does it like it’s where she belongs. She’s laughing. She’s still laughing while she says, “I don’t know why but this is just something I have to do.”

I don’t dare go near her.  Standing across from her, I look straight down. I can’t guess how far it is because I’m horrible at judging distances – geographically anyway. The railroad tracks seem far below us though, at least to the rest of us.

Looking straight down, I can see the bent and banged up stove, the broken glass, and the random trash that people have discarded. From where I’m standing, beside this concrete barrier between me and there, watching her up there on the edge makes me nervous.

My hands are sweating.

It’s a distance that makes me uncomfortable. It’s far enough that missing her step from up there where she is, would leave nothing to prevent her from landing down there. My mind flashes for a moment, imagining her down there and mangled. It’s too far down. Throwing rocks over the side where I stand, I notice how long it takes before they hit and there’s an echo when they do. I keep tossing them trying to keep my mind off of the moment.

On her side though, the view is fantastic. The railroad tracks seem to go on forever, at least until they meet in the distance, where being parallel comes to one point. I wish she’d come down, but she’s not yet. She’s still laughing. Her brevity has turned into invincibility.  She’s so damn happy in her moment. I can’t help but smile.

Though I couldn’t stand to watch it, I couldn’t help but to watch her. Maybe she needed this and more than likely I’ll never understand why she did it, not exactly. But her laughter made me smile as it held a newfound freedom.

She stood there on the edge of her world, beaming. The moment was hers to have, I think we somehow all knew it, as we stood there, impressed. She climbed up as though she belonged there. She walked half of its length and paused as she looked out finding that same point on the horizon. Her bare feet seemed too familiar where they stood but I could tell she’d never done this before.

She then made her way back to the place where she’d started from. I just stood there, unable to move, as if my moving would’ve thrown off her balance. I hated what she did but I’m still so damn proud of her. I couldn’t help but to laugh, too. She has always been able to do the things I can’t or those things I wouldn’t even try.

She’s always been someone I’m not. She’s who she is and we are who we are. We are two different people but it’s somehow always connected us. Maybe we are envious of each other for our differences.  Or maybe we’re just better at accepting those things that others cannot.

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