Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Franz Reichelt was a tailor who invented an overcoat parachute. No one seems to know if he tested it alone before he brought it to the public, hopping off of fences and rooftops to drift slowly down and land with a satisfied thump on his own two feet. What we do know is that one day he jumped off the Eiffel Tower, confident in the integrity of his garment, and plummeted 60 meters to leave a measurable dent in the turf at the bottom. The whole thing was caught on video, the seconds of falling and the dust cloud raised by that final thump, and just before he jumps you can see him hesitating, looking at the ground, wondering if leaping was in fact the best idea.

And then he jumped anyway.

I think that we'll soon enough run out of ground to bury ourselves under, that we're going to get wider and wider and not like the thought of the dead laying under our feet. And then we'll only have space and water left. In the deepening shadows of most early evenings I want to settle my eyes in the half-moon shadows under you cheekbones and ask for your preference but I can't quite manage. I'm not yet sure exactly why.

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