And will be for the rest of my natural life, because the thought of moving again is just too terrible to contemplate. Besides, the view is much better up here. You see, my new apartment is on the eleventh floor, roughly 110 feet straight up — assuming the average floor is a conservative ten feet tall. That’s flipping high.
And guess what: I’m afraid of heights. A little fact I tend to forget since I rarely climb trees anymore. Or peer over the edge of skyscrapers. I’m fine indoors, looking out at the impressive panorama of the city. Outside, on the balcony, is a dicier proposition. I get queasy and panicky, recoiling almost violently.
Even watching television or a movie, I react to great heights. Especially when the camera shoots straight down the side of a building, I can’t look. My stomach does somersaults and I snap backwards as if I’m the one falling. There’s a term for this, it’s called acrophobia, an extreme or irrational fear of heights. Lucky me, I suffer both — the extreme and completely irrational.
But it’s small potatoes, a price I’m happy to pay after the caterwauling of the neighbors above me. The ones with thundering footsteps; the ones who made the ceiling joists scream and groan, pop and splinter around the clock. Heck, at this height, I can barely hear the traffic, just the sigh of the wind and the occasional flutter of bird wings.
It is, and I’m not overstating, heaven on earth.
I’m able to maintain a thought, focus on things, read, sleep, and finally, finally unclench. Quiet is such a sweet, wondrous thing. Plus, the new place is bright and open, spacious, sparkling clean, and, best of all, there’s a heat lamp in the bathroom. Score! So guess where I’ll be spending the winter. Yep, the bathroom. I’ll get a beach chair and bask in the warmth with a cold drink and a big, long book.
You know, life is awesome when you’re this high.
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