Hurtling towards the ground, I felt better than I had in a long time. It was exhilirating. The cold air numbed my fingers and ears but for the pounding blood in my veins my skin felt alive and vibrant with feeling. There were tears in my eyes from how good it felt, if not only from the buffetting winds pushing up at me. Like a band aid, I'd ripped myself off the face of the planet.

But then I landed. 

A deafening crunch filled the alley. I had expected to have hit a lower floor but my momentum must have sent me straight past them. Instead, a rusted over dumpster filled with shit broke my fall. I ran my hands over my face and chest and arms. There was nothing there out of the ordinary. Slightly more moist and pungent than usual, but there I was, no worse for the wear. I checked my legs, my teeth, even my finger nails.

Nothing. Not a scratch. And then I laughed. And that laugh turned into a aching riotous laugh right there amidst the used food containers, feces and filth. I ran my hands through it, squished it through my fingers and I rolled clutching my sides, breathing in the heavy scents of excrement, of life.

As I calmed myself, I heard the senseless babble of a growing crowd. At one end of the alley a small crew of office workers clutching cigarettes had begun pulling in passersby. I got up and ran away, ripping wet pieces of paper off my back as I did. I knew what crowds meant; crowds meant police and police meant questions, detainment, doctors, medicine, the piles of perscriptions that bury you. For the first time in my life I had something that was mine and it felt good and it made me alive. I wanted nothing to do with crowds.