Zora stood at the edge of a roof, staring into the city below her. It’s funny, watching people from this point of view, she thought. Everyone is so focused on themselves and their worries and stresses, in these small bubbles, and they have no idea what the picture above them looks like. This is what it must be like to be God.
Zora was an average girl in a middle class home with her whole life ahead of her, and because of that she was miserable. She had everything easy. What were they calling it nowadays? Privilege. White privilege, straight privilege, married parents-only child-has a job-higher education privilege. Its not like she wanted it or wasn’t grateful or aware of what she had or anything like that. She just sort of got lost in it. And maybe, it wasn’t everything people cracked it up to be. But she knew she couldn’t say anything like that.
So Zora maintained the life she was supposed to. Study hard, straight A’s, do your best, please your folks. Take your dose of vitamins and fiber pills and fish oil, stick drugs down your throat so that you are just right. Save your money and make a budget. Burn your hair everyday with a flat iron and put on makeup and always smile. Just be thankful.
And Zora was. I mean, really, she was.
Zora stuck her toes over the roof. That’d be funny, she thought, if I lost my balance. Another privileged girl killing herself because she was depressed but never talked to anyone about it, people would say. Candlelight vigil, classmates she hadn’t talked to in years, all her best friends mourning the appropriate amount of time before moving along with their also suburban lives. Maybe always considering jumping as a way out, too. Remember Zora? No one would know that she had just lost her balance though, its not like she had really killed herself. No one would remember that she was a klutz, and sometimes forgot to brush her teeth, and was sometimes terribly moody, and really wasn’t perfect at all. She was an angel, a perfect angel they would say. She is watching us from above.
It’s not true you know, Zora thought. I wouldn’t be an angel at all, that isn’t really even how angels work. I would be the same, except maybe I would be a soul that zipped away into freedom, finally, into no expectations. And my body would rot in the ground. Rot, rot, rot. With maggots and worms and beetles. Really, they should emphasize the dust-to-dust part more in grieving, she thought. That’s the most beautiful part.
Zora watched as two women, arms loaded with shopping bags, fluttered to each of the shop windows, exclaiming over the displays. She watched many men and women in business suits face straight ahead and walk quickly and tuck their elbows tight into their sides so they wouldn’t touch. She watched yet another advocate advocating yet another cause. She watched a mother yelling at her squeamish toddlers to stay in their double stroller. She watched a homeless man wave his cup at the passersby, any spare change, God bless, God bless.
Zora’s phone alarm chimed.
Lunch break over.
And she faded back into her world.