Fourth Wall

Last summer, a business acquaintance of my father went sailing on the Mediterranean. I could stay in his apartment while he was gone. The apartment was on the fortieth floor of a modern glass building that stood next to a bridge and dominated the skyline. Only very wealthy people lived there. I was greeted by a concierge who kindly directed me toward the lift. The lift created a strange pressure in my ears as it quickly transported me upstairs. I left my bags on the expensive furniture and chose a room in which to sleep.

The next morning I woke up early. The sun had just come up, it must have been between five and six. Unable to go back to sleep, I got out of bed. The luxurious carpet felt pleasantly warm under my feet. I poured myself a glass of water and sat down in a chair near the window. I had an amazing view of the city. The roads ran like veins between the buildings. I watched the city slowly waking up.

Two cars were driving close together, as if connected by an invisible rope. Just as they were driving up the bridge, the second car bumped into the back of the first. The first car swerved over the road and hit a guardrail before coming to a skidding, crashing halt against the other side of the bridge. The tires of the second car where smoking from friction as it too came to a halt. My limbs felt weak. I tried to move. Slowly, as if pushing through water, I brought my hand to the window. There was a hard lump in my throat. I saw people coming out of the crumpled cars. A man and a woman with a dog in her arms stumbled onto the road and just stood there motionless. Then the other driver got out too. After a few seconds the dog started barking loudly. No one was hurt.

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