Jack didn't bother to pick up the cereal that he had accidentally spilled on the floor when his phone vibrated with the all too familiar buzz on his fold-out card table. Jack knew who it was. Without even looking at the caller i.d. he pressed the ignore button. He had checked a thousand times before to see the name “Mick Paris” in blue light. The last time he answered it, Jack and Mick went down to a bar and got smashed, making fools out of themselves like so many times before. He had known Mick
since high school, but lately Jack wasn't in the mood to go to bars, or even talk to Mick. He told himself he was too busy, working on writing his new violin composition.
Jack turned his phone off and left it on his table as he picked up his violin and sat in his office chair facing out the window. He looked out his seventh story window at the traffic below. He watched yellow taxis drive past so peacefully. The busy street looked so calm from hundreds of feet in the air. Looking at the cloudy sky, he gently touched his bow to the strings of the violin. Jack closed his eyes as he began to play. He spun slowly in his chair and gradually opened his eyes to his dimly lit apartment. The trash and clutter that had gathered around his apartment was of little concern to him. He had no room mates, no visitors, no reason to clean it.
Jack sat in his chair and played his violin all afternoon, staring out the window, occasionally adding a few notes to his developing piece. He wrote compositions for violin for a living. It didn't pay much, but Jack didn't spend much. Even though he played violin every day, he never really enjoyed it. His father bought him a violin when he was ten years old and forced him to practice every day. Eventually he became good at it and growing up, he decided to stick with what he was good at. Jack had always wanted to play the guitar, but when he told this to his father, he sternly forbade it. He was told to stick with what he was good at instead of being mediocre at everything.
Looking at the clock mounted on his otherwise bare white wall, he noticed that it was 8 o'clock and decided it was time for his dinner. He gently placed his violin on it's stand and walked back over to his card table and poured himself another bowl of dry cereal. He had run out of milk so he just ate it without. After taking his first bite he decided to turn his phone back on. “3 new messages” it read on it's blue outer screen. Jack frowned and quickly deleted the messages from the phone's memory. He did not want to think about Mick, he just wanted to pretend Mick didn't call, didn't exist.
After eating his dinner, Jack stepped out onto his balcony for a smoke. He lit up his cigarette and took a long inhale, feeling the smoke travel through his body. He looked out at the twilight sky and the miniature cars below. Closing his eyes, he listened to the gentle sound of traffic hundreds of feet below. He leaned over his balcony railing and stared at the people walking on the sidewalk, watching them for as long as possible before they turned a corner or became too difficult to see. Too distracted by the street below, Jack didn't notice his cigarette continue to burn until the flame started to tickle his fingers. He put it out in the ashtray, took a last look over the balcony, and returned to his apartment.
Jack walked into his bedroom and immediately collapsed onto his bed. He lay there in his jeans and t-shirt, just starting at the ceiling. Jack never changed his clothes for bed, he always thought it was unnecessary. He liked to wake up ready to go out without changing his clothes. He couldn't see any stars in the cloudy night sky when he looked through the small square window in his bedroom. It was a warm night but he pulled the covers over himself out of habit and rolled onto his stomach. He listened to the sounds of the soft footsteps from the apartment above him as he drifted off to sleep.
[[Standing on the rooftop Jack could feel the cold morning breeze on his face. He took a cigarette out of his pack and lit it, using one hand to block the wind. He sat on the ledge and looked at the sidewalk below. There were a few people, not many. He took a deep inhale from the cigarette and looked around at the surrounding landscape: the trees, the hills and the small river in the distance. The trees on the street below swayed leisurely in the gentle breeze. Jack took one last puff of his cigarette and stomped it out on the ground. He stood up on the railing, feeling so vulnerable. He loved the feeling of the wind blowing through his hair, the way it gently blew the leaves through the air. The street below seemed suddenly empty. Jack closed his eyes and could hear his heart beating louder and louder. The wind seemed to pick up and Jack took a step out into the air. With eyes shut tight, he fell for what seemed like minutes. He smiled as a leaf brushed his face, just before he hit the pavement.]]