The Man on the Roof
He stands on the edge of the roof of the Ambassador Hotel. He wears a black suit and a white shirt with the requisite one-half inch cuff showing below the jacket sleeve. His tie is maroon silk. On his head is a black broad rim fedora. His hands are at his sides; his knees bent; his body tilts forward until it is nearly horizontal to the ground; he pushes off sharply, then snaps his arms out like a gliding bird.
It’s come down to this. Nothing else to do. Thought it would work out. Didn’t. They’re coming. No way I’ll let them catch me. Dumped in that river. Foul, polluted. Nauseous, gaggy, puke in your mouth. This is going to be quick: four seconds. Much better. Keeps Darlene out of it, too. She’ll be okay now. Get on with her life.
The Woman in Room 1542
She is sitting astride a man lying on the king size bed in the middle of the room. Her bare shoulders glisten with perspiration. Her long black hair frames green eyes. She turns towards the window.
“A man just flew by.”
She twists her body toward the window.
“Careful there!” he winces. “What are you talking about?”
“Honest. I saw him. Oh God, it looked like Fred. Man in a black suit, hat, just like he wears. He looked in the window; I know his eyes, tiny blue dots. He saw us, I’m sure.”
“Fred? I thought you said he was in Cincinnati.”
“Jesus God save us, I’d swear it was Fred.”
“Darlene honey, if that was Fred, what he saw doesn’t matter any more.”
“But the last thing he knew on this earth was me cheating on him,” she says. “What a way to go.”
The Man in Room 744
He looks out the window, tries to figure out what kind of day is ahead. Clouds obscure the sun.
I’ll be damned. There’s a guy out there, diving down from the sky. Got to say this, he’s got form: feet together, back arched, arms straight. Looks like he’s expecting water below. Wonder why he’d do it here, middle of the city, could hurt somebody. Does this window open? Want to see the landing.
The Man on the Sidewalk
He is on his way to his office. He has just come up from the subway. He is dressed in a gray pin stripe suit and blue tie, and carries a brief case. He sees people looking up. He looks up.