Reflections from a Ledge

October 9, 2009

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Myron Buford climbed out his apartment window and sat down on the ledge outside.

This was nothing new for Myron. He would, on occasion, sit on the ledge and observe the frenzy occurring ten floors below – people racing to and from in the great rat race of life, as well and the infrequent appearance of the small animals who once had this territory all to themselves. Sitting on the ledge was very relaxing for Myron.

This time was different, however. Today, Myron would jump from the ledge, his body would collide violently with the concrete below, and he would die a quick death. Myron definitely hoped that his death would be quick.

Myron’s life had been in a downward spiral for months. His old boss had been replaced by a new manager. The new guy was a relentless task master, and Myron’s life had quickly become a living hell. All of the members of Myron’s team resented the new boss, and everyone had to work long hours of unpaid overtime to meet his demands. The boss had been particularly demanding of Myron, and Myron eventually got hopelessly behind. He tried to cover up his failures with a series of lies, and the boss had eventually uncovered the truth. Myron had been fired – kicked out onto the street after ten years with the company.

His girlfriend had been very supportive at first. Eventually, though, she simply couldn’t handle having a boyfriend who was unemployed. She went looking for greener pastures. To make the situation even worse, she was now dating the son of Myron’s former boss.

Just two days ago, Myron’s dog had died. Yesterday, he got a parking ticket while he was filling out paperwork at the unemployment office. He received a notice from the video store about a long overdue video – they wanted $88.42 in late charges! His favorite TV show had been cancelled by the heartless studio executives. And Myron thought that he just might be coming down with the flu. His life really wasn’t worth a plugged nickel.

Myron decided to take in the view of the street below one last time before he ended it all. He noticed that a light snow flurry had begun, making the people quicken their pace in an effort to stay dry. The snow reminded Myron of the upcoming Christmas season.

Christmas had always been Myron’s favorite time of the year. The presents were great, of course, but they were secondary to the holiday itself. Myron loved going to midnight mass to reflect on Christ’s birth in a manger so many years ago. He loved the Christmas dinner of beef roast and mashed potatoes that his mother prepared every year. The highlight for Myron, though, was spending time with his family. Christmas was one of the rare occasions on which he was able to spend time with his parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews.

As Myron got caught up in remembrances of Christmas past, he began counting his blessings. His dog may have died, but his pet goldfish was still swimming happily along. His favorite show may have been cancelled, but he did have all eleven seasons on DVD. He could watch reruns until he found a new show to watch. He had glowing recommendations from some former co-workers and would probably land a decent job before long. If his girlfriend wouldn’t stick with him through the hard times, it was probably better to find out now, rather than five years down the line. Heck, his favorite author had a new book coming out next week – he definitely needed to wait for that. Life was indeed worth living.

Myron was lost in happy thoughts as he moved back toward the window. He didn’t notice how slippery the ledge had become until he was sliding off. He managed to grab onto the ledge with one hand for a few seconds, but quickly lost his grip and fell to his death below.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patti
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 12:07:16

    Tragic story but I’m glad Myron died with a positive attitude.

    Hopefully there was a witness below who saw him trying to cling to the ledge, making this an accident and not a suicide. If not, the rest of the world will see his death as the opposite of what it really was.

    This reminds me of the Outer Limits episode (can’t remember the title) where this person, lying on his deathbed, passes away. His family members are gathered around him and someone remarks ‘I’m glad he died peacefully and didn’t suffer.’ The entire episode spans the few mili-minutes showing that, contrary to what they think, he went through hell.

    The truth is not always what you see.


  2. Evan Kline
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 12:08:41

    Gah! Threw us for a twist there. I was starting to think about what a nice lesson on how things aren’t as bad as they seem, and then . . .
    .-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..Buyer Beware: Postseason Baseball on the iPhone =-.


  3. Patti
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 12:19:44

    Re my previous comment, It could have been a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, not ‘Outer Limits’. It was so long ago…


  4. kosmo
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 21:19:37

    I haven’t seen Twilight Zone in years (and only saw a handful of episodes back then – but liked them).

    I was in the mood to kill someone last night, and I usually handle this by knocking someone off in a story.

    Usually …



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