Ernie: Rock Bottom

Essay by spoonman419 July 2004

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Ernie smoothed out the bits of dust and gently swept them off the ledge. He looked to his right and did the same. He smudged his thumb on the piece of concrete between his legs and picked it up slowly so that the particles clung to his skin. He blew a small wind out of his mouth and didn't watch them flutter down.

The sky was black, and to him there was a sharp distinction between its rich empty color and the imitation black of the skyscraper's windows in front of him just 100 feet. To his left he saw the ledge and the blackness, and to his right the same. There were a few lonely lights in the building opposite him, and he could just barely make out one man at his desk, his head cradled in his hands. Ernie watched him for a while, but he did not move.

He raised a middle finger to the man, then let it drop freely in an arch back down to the ledge.

He shifted his eyes to the sky, and noticed that it was not impossible to see the stars in the hectic city. He counted them closely, and in a few short seconds had picked out nine. The moon was mostly hidden by clouds, and it didn't give him much light. His thin concrete perch was lit from behind by the security light of the elevator shaft.

He had told his boss earlier that day that he would be staying late to finish up some long overdue work that had been bothering him. When his boss put on a puzzled face, Ernie had motioned towards a pile of papers on the edge of his desk. His boss had told him not to pressure himself too much, but to finish...