A daredevil announces he will freefall 23 miles to earth.
He plans to plummet from the edge of space. Freefall. Rainfall. Whirlwind. He'll break the sound barrier in a supersonic suit, and cascade like a waterfall of screams. Freewheeling. Squealing. Whoosh. I imagine as he drops he'll have time to celebrate himself as a feather falling at the same rate as rock, as a windfall of apples, canvas carved into sail, master mariner, first man, Adam of the stratosphere, Icarus come back to report from the sun's proximity. To think: God must see me now that I'm a cinder in his eye. Time to remember, and therefore to regret. Worthless. What if. Son of a bitch. Time, entering the atmosphere with minutes yet, to picture himself on the ground, legs whole under him. Buckled, white-knuckled. A long time trying not to listen for the chuckle of his blood if it begins to boil. Silence as he calculates terminal velocity and counts and counts and counts on gravitational pull, the one sure thing any of us will ever know, and wishes he'd prepared a prayer with airtight snaps. Time (how much more?) as his shoulders ache to feel that first jerk of chute. Falling. Failing. Fallible. Nightfall. Landfall. Merciful. A lifetime, as the planet, then the country, then New Mexico rushes up to ask him why he didn't find the ordinary plunge from birth to death terrifying enough.