i used to write stories about the edge of the world (and i do myself and everyone a great favor in not posting them). i had the whole meaning worked out, how it looked, where it was, who lived there.

the edge of the world is at a dead end in some rotten, forgotten tenement neighborhood. it's in the middle of a city, but part of the city that's buried so deep and so residential that it doesn't even have secrets or memories. no one really notices it.

it's funny what you can get used to, because the edge of the world is dramatically beautiful. one second you have cracked concrete, cigarette butts, broken glass and bludgeoned hubcaps; the next you have a sky bigger than montana's. it has more texture than the most incredible sunset. if you stand on the very edge, everything you see is sky. it's like floating through space. you can see night or sunrise approaching on the other side of the world, watch the clouds boil up and trip over each other. you can stare right into the sun in the middle of the night, as it jumps slowly over your head.

there's a myth (eqyptian, maybe?) that when you die, your heart is weighed to determine what sort of afterlife you will have. the edge of the world is a parallel for this. the sky you see standing as close as possible to the void without vertigo coercing you down is the future. it's rain and snow and thunderstorms that have yet to happen. some may silently implode before they ever mature into the cold, wet dramas they were destined to be. it's possiblity. behind you is an ugly street, and also knock-the-wind-out-of-you beautiful. that's the past, human life, mistake after mistake and small triumphs that get buried along with the tragedies. the edge is where you are.

you get to the future by refusing to see the past, squinting your eyes if necessary. you let go of all the things you wish had gone another way, forget they were there, and you float. you float out over the edge of the world and you shake the clouds with gods and angels. you have to do that a lot. you fall or fly every second.

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