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I climb skyscrapers to relax. See the irony in this. But after Trudy died, I found it most stressful just sitting around slowly drinking the minutes.

My hands have always been strong and the crowds below mean nothing to me, the cops waiting with cuffs, the click of newspaper cameras. You block that stuff out. You pace yourself. Everything depends on it. There is only the next crease in the wall to cling to. There are no vistas before you, only behind.

When Trudy found out she couldn't have kids, we went to a museum and she rubbed a fertility phallus for so long a security guard had to come over. She was like that. Always holding out hope.

Now when my heart gets going like a hummingbird's, I pause, remember her in that dress, with the little mirrors sewn into it, I got her in Mexico. How the world reflected small, bite-sized.

A fireman above me stretches his hands out of a window, wants to drag me in and I veer to the side. There's still a ways to go.

I've tried it your way, I think. Now this is what I do. Life is too short at times, and too long at others, to do anything else.

Story by:

Robert Scotellaro

submitted at 5:17am

8 November 2011