On August 12, I realised that my asthma was an unwillingness to take life. That I was alive nevertheless, and remained so, was, for me, one of the many paradoxes of existence, strewn across our path as unsolvable riddles, tough mind candy to chew on. I did not care for His jokes.

On August 13, I had decided to end my life. I instantly knew how I’d do it: I would jump of Jefferson bridge and enjoy the short flight. I calculated that I would fly for 6.34 seconds. In this time span, I wanted to see and experience everything as if for the first time. I was looking forward to the intensity of a prolonged moment of birthlike magic.

On August 14, at 14:45, after an incredibly good Pizza from Joe’s, an otherwise little noteworthy Italian hole in the wall on Grammer St, I let go off the railing and flew towards my death. Earlier, I had sat on these railings for about a minute. Not too long to develop deep fear and not too short, because I did not want to do anything in haste. This was too important.

All the while, though, if I’m honest, I hoped that something or someone would save me.

In fact, I did have my flight, and it was unbelievable. I could not possibly put it into words. You’ll have to go there yourself. The flight was 0.07 seconds longer than I had anticipated due to strong winds that created an updraft, which slowed me down. Those are details.

The interesting thing is that I never hit the surface but found myself instead eyes closed in a fetal position on my bed at home. I don’t know what happened and I don’t care. I will not, I repeat, I will not do it again. I stopped having asthma attacks, too, and I’m going to get married tomorrow, thank you very much for your good wishes.

Marcus Speh lives in Berlin and writes all over the world. He’s got nothing to flawnt and is hard at work on a novel. He’s been interviewed in Voices and he is both creator and murderer of the fictitious prose-poet Finnegan Flawnt who has published flash fiction at elimae, kill author, metazen, foundling review, bull and other online venues.


6 thoughts on “ASTHMATIC

  1. wonderful to see this, Marcus; wonderful to see you here. I love the way there are tiny moments of truth scattered throughout this piece.

  2. oh man this was cool, love the pizza from Joes and the extra .07 seconds, thank goodness your mattress intervened, fun write.

  3. Linda says:

    Great stuff. Sometimes getting close to the edge is… enuf. Peace…

  4. catdav says:

    I am late to the party, and missed Finnegan Flawnt altogether, hearing the sighs and murmurs. So what, I see: Marcus Speh! Here,”an unwillingness to take life,” first of many brilliances. Thank you for this piece. I shall pass along to at least one place where I hope it may make a difference.

    I have read your note-of-passage, and have been hearing, absorbing, being filled by, since. Am awe-ing you and your work. True.

  5. Marcus Speh says:

    wow, who’d have thought anyone gives this post a second view and such a thorough and complimentary one – thank you so much, catherine! yes, the nom de plume. most interesting. must turn it into a story … whenever. “true”: indeed, i know asthma.

  6. […] was first published by Shel Compton in A-Minor magazine, presently relaunched with Nicolette Wong at the helm. It is included in my debut collection, […]

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