“Get out of there!” I yell, my voice echoing back to me off clean glass walls before reaching her, probably. She ignores me or doesn’t hear.
I lower myself more after putting my gum on a lower right hand corner of pane, de-spitting it enough to make it stick good, so i can find it again. Below me and around her, the kids are just swarming. I don’t try to talk her out of it. There will be no talking her out of it. I think about my cat as the winch shuffles links of bicyle like chain through its round, revolving mouth, one foot, two foot, three foot. Anyway, my cat, when I let it out? Always this anxiety about her running away but thats not what I was thinking of. I was thinking of how i try to trick her into coming close enough so i can grab her and bring her back in. Its like letting your fish out to swim in the ocean and kinda keeping your feet in the water so you’re close enough to grab it if it looks like its gonna make a break for the trenches. I don’t want my cat to be gone forever like that. Thats what I was thinking about when I saw here down there. I wanted to say ‘Here, kitty kitty!’ but now I know she is ignoring me. Shes in it. She, is, in it! and besides, its wierd thinking that about a person, I mean an adult.
“Isn’t this great!” she yells up at me. I’m about 40’ above them now, already thinking about how I could improve the winch to make the descent rapiderer. I guess they are just like us, you know, all behaving the same pretty much while all being different and what not. It’s the ones not moving that catch my eye, by the liquor store, out front. I expect to see candy and a dirty face but the kid is just watching me. Thats strange behavior right. A child making calm observation of the abnormal. Or not, maybe his dad does this, or did. Anyway, their not realy people, not realy, not yet at least.
“Check this out.” I say to get her attention. I am trying to steal the attention of a kid in a candy store, not gonna happen. Now I know what they mean. Some of them are clapping at me and waving, but they don’t do it for long. I can’t believe there are no cars on the road.
“Isn’t this the greatest thing you have ever seen. It must be one of those events you know, like for school or something, only bigger.”
“Yeah.” I tell her turning my fear into bemusement, counting the speed of the winch in window lengths like I was avoiding falling, like the ground would save me if I could get to it, Like time was running out.
“You can see them real good from up here!” But she is bent down looking at some little girl, she is smiling, I can see it from here, they both are. I think the kid really sees her.
“Its gonna fall! Watch out!” I yell and kick the back rail with my feet. Its loud. The wheels bounce off the glass. It doesn’t need help to be unstable at this length. If the wheels were balls, I could sell tickets to this fucking thing. The thought makes me sick to my stomach. I unbuckle my harness. Even the rowdy kids have cleared from beneath me now so I stop kicking. She frowns at me but all I can think of is if they help eachother, if they work together, they could get ahold of this thing, climb up, then what. She has a crowd around her now, a short one. They can see her, see what the other ones are crowding around.
“Look!” she tells me. I can tell she feels like Doolittle or something. Isn’t she though, intrepid, so blinded by all of this seeming goodwill.
“I know! Their so great. We should give them rides in this, ya think? We’ll be careful.”
“I don’t know, it doesn’t look safe.” it looks like she is being led somewhere, and maybe its just away from me, like a kid poping up between you and the TV. I see that. This fucking winch.
She is realy being moved now, the way kids can move an adult by mere proximity, by the adult not wanting to step on the kid, hands up like they are little cops, ‘ok, ok’ I remember saying to my nieces once.
“Help me make it safe. When will they have another chance like this! Think of what it will mean to them later on in life!” I have to yell this last part. At just ten feet above her head I can still see them converging. I think of a star forming out of gas and lower the last six feet, fuck it. I can pull her up now. I open the gate and reach my hand down but she is too far away. The effort I am making is for me alone, what is she, sixty feet away? The last thing I hear for sure is ‘don’t push.’ But they do. They were taking it back, the kids were, all of it. I’m back up to my gum but I still can’t shake the concern for them. What were they all gonna do for work?