by Timothy L. Marsh
You’ve thought about it for years and now the moment has come. You know I love you, baby, but this isn’t the right time for us. There’s things I need to do before I commit. I can see myself making a life with you, don’t you believe that? But things are complicated right now. It’s all so complicated.
You’ve thought about it for years, you’ve gathered the guts for months, and now here you are, you’re doing it; you’re squirming through the bars, giving her issues, becoming baggage—187 pounds of emotional carry-on she’ll lug around for the rest of her life.
You’ve never been skydiving but this must be close to what it’s like, right there at the lip of the hatch, windsheer like God’s scream tearing apart your resolution, heart slamming against your ribs, spitless with fear, second-guessing, thinking, Sweet Christ, I’m doing this. I’m actually goddamn doing this. And you are. The elevation is right. You’ve hit your final altitude, and the only way to done is all the way down.
But don’t look before you leap or talk yourself out of this. A plunge is never that long or difficult. The only real bravery here is staying on the brink, and you can do it. It’s now or ever after. Take her hand for courage, lean forward, breathe in, and fall out.
Timothy L. Marsh is a writer-in-residence at the Montana Artists Refuge. His stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Evansville Review, The Los Angeles Review, The New Quarterly and Weave Magazine, and are indexed at http://www.timothylmarsh.wordpress.com. Recent honors include a 2010 fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and a 2009 Arts Jury Award from the City Council of St. John’s, Newfoundland. His work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web.