It’s a bit like climbing up the stairs to the very top of the tallest building in your neighborhood. You do it alone, completely alone, after working at some cafe a mile from your house. You count out your tips, put on your headphones, and slip into your own world as the humans, the families, the students, all become some sort of impromptu choreography. They are all silhouettes and so are you.
You take the long way home because you are tired and you don’t feel like crossing the bridge alone and hopping the fence. The tall building taunts you, leering. You meant to climb to the top with someone else, with anyone else, but today you are alone.
It’s thirty six floors. It’s the second-largest-something-or-other’s-wayward-dedication-to-knowledge, but regardless of the history, it’s made of stone and it’s enormous, so obviously, you must climb it. You are alone.
You walk inside. You do not belong there, and the maintenance man looks at you strangely, but you realized a long time ago that being slight of stature and pretty and female lets you get away with a lot more than you should, and besides, you are a silhouette now anyway.
Climb the stairs. It takes an hour or so. Each step feels the same. Look around, tie your hair up. It’s getting so so so long, you’ve taken to braiding it most days. Think about kissing boys. Think about ******* boys. Think about the time you kicked a boy’s heart in the teeth as a casualty of running away from everything else. Climb faster. Think of anything else. Think of loneliness. Think of sandwiches, think of dancing, think of Greek poetry. Take a rest. Climb. Think. Climb. Climb.
The top is three glass windows and two offices and one library. Sit on the windowsill and think of how small your hands are. Tie your hair up again. Headphones off. It is your nature to want too much, so by the time you get to the top, you wonder about the roof.