On Top of a Hotel at Night

the business of being birds

by Stephen Paden

I’m sitting here holding my head. It’s pounding. When will the aspirin kick in? I walk to my window and look outside at the city. It’s quiet. The pounding heart I feel is not outside in the streets or in the buildings; it is inside my chest. If I drink another cup of coffee, I think it will explode. Maybe that would be ok. Something just fell from the top of the Cardigan across the street. Some poor bastard, I suppose. That’s the way it is nowadays. When you live in pursuit of dreams, sometimes they don’t come true. Sometimes they turn on you; push you off a thirty-story hotel. I wonder what his dreams were. If you chase the moon and don’t make it, it’s a long way down. He just hit the ground. God damn, right into a crowd. I think he landed on fat…

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