Disclaimer: Life On Mars, Sam, Ruth and Maya aren't mine. If they were, this would not have happened.

Dedicated to: anyone who's aware of the 'splat' at the end of the rainbow.

Thanks to: Beccatoria. As always.

Starving on the Jump Down

"I, too, am postponing 'it' every day, but only
because the death I dream of is impossible.
I would like to starve on the jump down."

- Max Goldt

And then it's suddenly very simple:

his feet slapping on concrete, the last step,
the last,
pushing off with all his power:
only the great blue
and gravity,
no space for anything but joy in this sky,
too late,
(a relief),
too late for regrets,
a change of mind;
a relief
to feel the air rush past,
to know this is it,
it's over, it's done, he's done what he could,
he's done his best,
and his mum will understand, she understands,
she will -

Ruth Tyler understands: that she's failed him; that she failed to see the sky waiting at the back of his eyes; understands that she doesn't matter; and she'll go on, of course, she's done it before, once, twice, she can do it again, pick herself up another time and go on, she needs to believe that, and sometimes she does believe that, sometimes – and then she stands by a mound of earth that's still fresh and she knows that this time is different, and she straightens her back, raises her chin, and there's no place to go, no place to go at all.

- and he's falling,
(a relief),
almost gone,
it's over already,
it's over,
sky gone,
only ground
jumping up,
rushing up,
and there's nothing here for him,
nothing, nobody -

Maya has had a lunch date, pointless exercise in rebound, and of course anyone should be better than Sam, Sam was unsalvageable from the first - and there's an ambulance in front of the building, a small crowd, a colleague turns, moves to apprehend her, and she knows, she just knows; she trips, runs, pushes through the cluster and reaches the centre just as someone says 'it's over', sinks to her knees as frantic activity is replaced by a stillness that radiates outwards, takes his hand and feels a hand on her shoulder and says, to no one in particular, 'I'm his girlfriend', surprised.

- there's
no way to turn back,
no reason,
this is liberation,
this is -

the last millisecond takes forever,
a glorious, golden eternity,

the ground's there and
things burst, tear and break
his blood's free to fill spaces inside him
as his brain quietly gives out

and that's that.