At 11PM, it was clear to her.
Without a word, she set her drink down, got off the couch, cut
through her friends squished tight into the apartment, walked out the front
door, across the street, through the yards of the neighborhood, and just
At 11PM, she was granted a great wish.
Her skin seemed to lose its grip on her insides. She flung her arms
open and opened her mouth to the sky. All was beautiful. All was song.
She sang along. Through the dirt, she kept walking, kept dancing, waving
her hands as if they dove through water, twisting her fingers like
intricate instruments. The dark night, the smell of the grasshoppers,
formed the set and soundtrack of her climactic movie scene. Her heart
throbbed inside the casing of her ribs like it never had before. The
temperature of her blood increased, exciting and soothing her at once.
At 11PM, it seemed her heart would burst.
Gratitude. Smiles. Laughter. She was a child in the arms of a
protective father as she danced and walked through the tall grasses of the
field. She swept her hand over the tops of the grasses, bending them,
creating great ripples and pictures of motion. Her heart beat, her blood
warmed, her muscles moved spontaneously. Ecstasy. All was beautiful.
At 11PM, she realized the end was near.
Insanity, that thief, had been waiting at the house window. As she
spun, her arms open to the sky, her mouth wide open in song, she recalled
the nights she had prayed, "When I do go crazy, let me hear music all the
At 11PM, her wish was granted.
At 11PM, she snapped.
She had left her friends without an explanation. The music called
her out the door, down the steps, and into the field where she now swam in
the long grasses, dancing to the music that dictated her pulse and pulled
on the corpuscles of her blood and loosed her skin to let her tendons out.
It promised her freedom. At last. At last the beat of the music would be
the aural key to the prison of her body. The molecules of her body would
lose their hold on each other and she would disintegrate into the air,
dropping globules of music all over the ground. Or perhaps she would turn
into bubbles, with the music inside her playing all at once when they
popped. She imagined it would smell like roses.
At 11PM, she began her walk.
Moving through the tall grasses, they gave way to short clippings and
dirt again. The stars above still clapped their hands in time and blew
sweet air through her hair as she twirled and moved her arms. She imagined
the gorgeous angels around a may-pole with her. She had never been
happier. Any minute now, her heart would explode. Any minute now, she
would be set free. Any minute now, this Earth couldn't hold her any
longer. Any minute -
At 11PM, a drunk girl who had wandered away from a party got hit by a
semi near the edge of a field. She couldn't hear it coming.