I was tapping my fingers on the uneven imperfections on the edge of the concrete wall, my brow furrowed, contemplating how something could be immovable if its physical form could so easily be-
I turned; the cigarette, still smoldering, almost dropped from my lips.
“What are you doing up here?”
She’s been an inquisitive one her whole life. Not that I’ve known her all that time. I can just tell. The eyes are always looking for the next angle. Sharp gray irises but the dark pushes them to the edges of those black circles that suck the world around her straight into her brain.
I’m a clever gentleman and I’ve got a particular affinity for humor involving some of my own… unique qualities so I told her I was just having a family reunion and also I could ask her the same question because what the hell was she doing on the roof herself.
“You’re above my apartment, Xavier.”
I peered down over the wall. Ah. So I was. Surprised that she hasn’t noticed the drunken slur in my voice yet. I took another long drag on the cigarette, let the lifeblood back into me.
“How’d you even get up here? Did you-“
I told her I took the stairs before I swung my legs off from the side of the wall that hung a few hundred feet over the street and dropped my black All-Stars on the roof. The tails of my jacket swung around me, spinning like the world was; I swayed with them, feeling the nonexistent waves of a nonexistent ocean push my temporarily existent body from side to side.
“Are you drunk?”
Sometimes she made me feel like my brain was sighing.
Honestly if your eyes are going to be that open could you please just trust yourself to make some judgments about your ex-boyfriend with a drinking problem.
I told her yes I was drunk and I drank another sip of hot blood from the cigarette. My fingers twitched. Hot ash fell onto my other hand and though I could see it when I looked down it felt like empty and nothing and I brushed it off calmly and I realized she was staring at me as if she’d seen a ghost which is a rather cliché phrase but-
“You didn’t take the stairs, Xavier, did you? You’re smoking again.”
I told her obviously, she could see-
“I don’t mean the cigarette, asshole.”
Personally I’d never thought of myself as much of an asshole.
And yet I suppose I had woken her up landing on her roof at some ungodly hour drunk off my ass and filling myself back up with smoke.
I sighed and told her I was out. Needed to take a few more drags if I wanted to make it home. Told her I should put up the money for something with a little better fuel efficiency next time.
She didn’t even crack a smile but I know she’ll laugh one of these days.
I took a few steps towards her feeling every vibration from my foot to my skull and put a hand as gently as I could manage on her shoulder. Then it slipped up to her chin across a neck of smooth solid skin that I wish I had and for a brief instant our lips were-
I didn’t react quickly enough to the shove suddenly I was stumbling backwards but when she followed up with the slap I had already smoked and her hand passed through the thick gray air-
“GO TO HELL!”
When I was myself again – that long body that I stubbornly continued to call my own – I was facing sideways to her, my left arm hanging by my side, the right raising the cigarette to my mouth again for one last drag. I looked over the edge of the roof. I wondered what it would be like to hit the pavement and splatter this body all over the street.
I told her I’d save her a seat – I had to say it, really – and I leapt out over the edge and plunged down through the air and, for a long moment, thought I would hit it this time-
But I was smoke long before I hit the ground.
Prose piece. No real inspiration. As always, thanks for reading!