by Stuart Goodall
The worn rubber of the handrail feels rough. My nails dig in easily. Chunks fall away to their deaths in the ruts of the metal steps. The eyelets on my shoes look on. No laces to blind them.
I am rising up: escalating.
So many people here. Wasting precious seconds. Scowling, frowning and maintaining blank mannequin faces. Wearing clothes they think they chose. Speaking with weight they think they measured. They swallow up the world and then regurgitate it under the mistaken impression that they are contributing something other than another monotone voice in a sea of monotone voices screeching from the cookie stalls and coffee shops and retail outlets that frantically try and keep them from realising that all their choices are hopelessly limited and that nothing they say or do or wear or eat has not been said or done or worn or eaten a thousand times before.
My shoes are dirty.
The steps are closing in on each other. Now they have gone and we are at the escalation apex. The rubber corpses have nowhere to hide. They catch in the grate. I step beyond them. So many people. I can hear my pulse in my ears. To take something is to make it yours. I must choose.
She is looking over the balcony.
My shoes squeak as I run.