The Roof


Miscellany Editor

by Lauren Gorla, Junior, Multimedia Journalism
       She sat on the roof overlooking the ants that marched below, each with their own thoughts and actions and destinations. She had no destination anymore; the roof was her place, her sanctuary, her home. There would be no more interaction, no touch, no hands, no embrace. This concrete slab and cold metal beam jungle was the place where she would be spending the rest of her time. She did not know what it was like to walk those hundred feet below but she knew there needed to be disturbance. Break their peace.
       Her routine each day was the same. She woke up, sat on the edge of her building, and watched. She fixed her eyes on the walkway below and looked as each being passed by. There were ones on two legs that would run through the crowds. There were some walking with their back to the sky that did not have clothes, but were lined with fur in white, brown, and black. Her and this building had grown to become one throughout the days. 
       She slid her palm across the gravelly texture of the roof and laid across its stiff embrace. The light brick warmed her raw cheek as she shifted her gaze to look across the gap to the buildings below her. She did not know if other people were aware of her presence but at this point in her time on the roof she had no concern for others. The roof was what mattered.
       She rose; it was time to check her project. She slowly got up and looked below again. At a time she had been afraid of heights but now the sights made her body shiver with excitement. Her bare feet wandered to the dark shadow made by the whirring silver block. There sat the tarp.
The tarp covered a lump.
The lump smelled.
This lump had no movement.
The lump was an experiment.
       It lay there, doing its job. The sun caught the highest points, reflecting off the blue shine of the interwoven threads and disappearing into the folds that spread over the concrete. If it could have moved it would have told a tale of how it arrived.
       This lump had been soaking in the shade for weeks now. She squatted beside it and poked at the lump; it was ready. She found the spare rope and wrapped it around the top of the lump. The rope found its home in a neck and the knot tightened against the already collapsed throat.
       The woman dragged the lump to the edge of the roof. Her hands now matched her face: raw, red, and bloodied. She took another glance to the people below. The time was here. She hoisted the lump to the edge and breathed in. Herfingers gripped the tarp with the last strength they had. She breathed in again and shoved.
There the lump lay.
The ants were scattered.
       Shouting. Words all over. Arms waving. Crying. Searching the sky. Searching around, looking for answers. Peace had been disturbed.
       The woman took her place. Once again, she slid her bleeding palm across the cement and watched the red streak form. She laid upon it and took in the sights. 
       She watched as the ants fell back into formation. The sun came down. The slick darkness of night enveloped her. Time went on.