A contagious confluence, metaphorical hydraulics in chronofluidity, multiple rippling effects.

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

Friday, September 10, 2004


The woman whose hand he held was a stranger, yet it seemed now that they had always known the comfort of each other’s grasp. He’d seen her around, in the hallways, on the elevator, but he didn’t know her name. They’d never spoken, not even as he smashed the window with a chair and helped her step up, not even as they gripped each other’s hand and dived. And there was no hesitation, as if each knew instinctively that the other preferred diving to jumping. And why was that, he wondered, as he felt her hand squeeze his and tried to get a glimpse of her face against the blur of windows. Her eyes were closed. He wondered what she was thinking and why he seemed to have the time and presence of mind even to be thinking these thoughts. And he looked at his feet and beyond them the sky—the sky—and knew why he’d plunged headlong instead of feet first. And the people who witnessed the dive from the street below or who saw the videotaped images on television must have wondered, too, what they were thinking, how they could have dived seemingly so calmly, he in a dark suit, she in a dress, both their bodies fully extended but looking relaxed, hand in hand, through the rushing air. It was awful to watch. It was mysterious and transcendent. Before the divers reached the pavement, everyone looked up to see the sky.