<back
Falling Objects Make No Sound — Michael Murphy

* Content warning: this piece contains representations of suicide *

11:13:58pm. I realized I forgot my headphones.

“I’ll catch up with you later.”

They responded with shrugs and incoherent colloquialisms.

It was that weird stage of cold when it’s hard to tell if you need one jacket or layers. I shivered as I looked at the concrete’s neat lines. Its symmetry enticing.

The asbestos topped classroom that we met in was covered in crumbed and crumpled napkins. Half eaten pieces of shitty cake from the grocery store sat on waxy paper plates. Our scribe forgot his minutes again. Walls enjoyed a healthy covering of film posters—mostly Tarantino. The Bride watched me scour the room for my headphones.

They weren’t there.

I left the building. 11:29:03pm. I tried to zip my jacket further. Should have worn layers. It’s nice to walk behind all of the buildings, one street off of the main drag. Quiet trashcans litter the unkept pavement. The only streetlight flickered—I wish I had my music. Something about the midnight concrete jungle begs for jazz: Miles.

I quit my sauntering to listen to the strange noise to my right. Tears that fall for several stories land like thunderclaps. He forgot his layers too. Four floors above: fire escape. The irony was not lost. His invisible fires burned with a strength no stairs could lead away from. Perched high above the cement looking longingly at the earth. I could hear his silent thoughts. No, it won’t take long.

“Hey!” 11:52:27pm.

It was too far to see the distance in his eyes. I try to imagine them sometimes—beautiful, green, bloodshot, and heavy. I know they were heavy, because of how his look crushed me.

“I don’t think it’s worth it,” I tried to convince us. 11:53:19pm.

I think he agreed with me.

Falling objects make no sound. 11:53:29pm.

The ground swallowed him whole. 11:53:30pm.

Someone else called the police. I waited. I felt like I had to. Maybe he waited for me—for someone to see. The officer’s name was Sharon. She smiled meekly in that way that one smiles to someone who just lost a relative.

“You should get home.”

She zipped my jacket for me.

It was that weird stage of cold when it’s hard to tell if you need one jacket or layers. I shivered as I looked at the concrete’s neat lines. Its symmetry enticing.