The crowd gathers, staring in the sun, shielding their eyes. They gaze up. Thoughts and emotions vary.
A young man looks worried. He is full of hope. He dreams of a life soaring. Yesterday, he played with Matchbox cars. He dreamt of adventures and a life unknown. He thought of a wife and kids and a job. He dreamt of riches and glory. He never thought of pain or fear or suffering. Even watching now, he couldn’t fathom that.
An old man looks up, not impressed. He has seen the world. He has forgotten the dream of delight. He is jaded. The hurt is deep. The pain severe. He is alone, scared, and sad. He navigates the pain and winces as it surges. He hurt yesterday and will hurt tomorrow. He in uninterested, and yet curious.
A middle age woman yells for the man on the precipice to jump. She is angry and hurt. She ignores the journey. She ignored the crowd, she focuses only on the man and yells, “Jump.”
Surrounding her are kids, desperately trying to get her attention, clamoring. They echo her voice and look at her from an approving glance. They mistake her sneer for a smile. They confuse that with acceptance and love.
There are others: some ignore, some disdain.
The man is on the precipice. Yesterday, he heard the voices and felt the stares. He knew the faces. He remembered living a life in the crowd. He recalled smiling and pretending the fear and voices didn’t hurt.
Today, he remembers the journey. He recalls the ones who helped him climb the mountain. He revels in the sweat and tears. He feels his aches and enjoys them. He listens to the voices from bellow. He weeps at the woman and the kids. The pain returns. Suddenly, he feels the sun. He giggles. He isn’t there to jump. He is there to soar.