Three Acts

Act 1

It’s night time across the city, midnight rolling in a hurry,
On the base of a skyscraper, the tallest of its kind, a lone figure arrives,
The cape and full-body suit a smooth, silky black, face shielded by a similarly-coloured mask,
Anonymity is key, gotta hide that identity from the pesky powers that be,
Twice a week without fail, come sunshine and rain, been at it for some time now, the nerves won’t even attack now,
A small crowd gathers, where once they’d resembled a mosh pit,
One too many reruns later many had seen enough but for some the act remained hot stuff,
The one they’d come to see prepares, undergoes a vigorous warm-up routine,
The act will be over within seconds, such preparation seems extreme,
But tonight’s a treat for the fans, the ones that had stuck around through thick and thin,
For this is the last show, a retirement party of sorts, a fond farewell and a well-earned reward,
Limbs loose and ready, body warm and primed for the main event,
Approached the base of the building, five breaths deep breathing,
Then it was blast off, scurrying up that structure sleek as a panther,
Much to the awe of onlookers, still thrilled at this daredevil’s superpowers,
No special gloves and shoes or harnesses here, just literally scaling the windows and walls,
Looking skyward all the way, unbothered by the altitude at all,
Hit the rooftop in less than two, shimmied up the antenna too,
Now at the city’s highest peak, the view was grand and majestic,
Eerie silence up near the clouds, the hustle and bustle of the world below rendered silent and resembling a stream of lights and fire ants aglow,
It was time for the second part, the death defying one,
Better make it memorable, it’ll be the final one,
Strength gathered, dexterity and balance takes over, hand standing atop that antenna now, toes pointed upwards like a dancer,
Then without warning pushes off the perch, a somersault preceding a free-fall towards the gutter,
Audience holds its breath though they know how it ends, a wrong move still guarantees certain death,
Their hero’s right foot makes contact with the building’s wall once past the twentieth floor,
Sliding down all the way as though on vertical ice skates preventing a less desirable fate,
Touched down back to the starting point, the short show is complete,
The audience breaks into their final applause, the eyes of some welling with tears.
Not much emotion from the star, from behind the mask the eyes remain unchanged,
‘That’s it, I’m done,’ the voice utters in a near-whisper, walking away from the scene forever.

Act 2

It’s half-past-five, so ends another day of hard grind,
He ambles out his building, head down, headed towards the train station,
Air pods locked in, blasting some tune articulating loneliness and depression,
Somehow without being corny, extra gold stars for the musical artist,
He drifts away from the land of tall buildings, inching towards a main road,
Lining up the sidewalk, various cafes and convenience stores,
Outside one of which, a small group of men are loitering,
Smoking ciggies, clinking various energy drinks, warming up for a night of partying,
He sees them up ahead, from behind his sunglasses the eyes widen,
More than a few of ‘em look familiar, the realisation hits like a hook from Tyson,
Transported back in time, to when he was young, insecure and nervous,
Courtesy of the chumps from up ahead, day by day they were terrorising,
Not much in the way of beatings, thankfully, though they sometimes rained bombs,
Mostly through picking on and hazing, wounds psychological hurt just as much as physical,
Felt that juvenile urge to turn tail and split but quickly he catches his grip,
Been more than twenty since they’d clapped eyes on one another, surely they would’ve totally forgotten,
He stands up tall and proud, adjusts his shades then begins his trek,
Soon he’ll be scot-free, just need to casually stroll past ‘em,
He inches closer, their voices and laughter grow louder, one of them catches his eye,
He returns the gaze behind his shades, as though burning holes into this guy,
His hostility goes undetected by the target, soon he’s walked past them,
On and on he walks as they continue their little talks,
Their voices fade behind him, now lost among the sound of the streets,
“Some class reunion that was,” says he, the station visible in the distance.

Act 3

Lunchtime almost over, time to head back to the building,
Knock off the last three hours before home time comes knocking,
Had gone outdoors to unwind, at a park nearby, passed some establishments on the way back, that’s when he caught my eye,
Enjoying his own mid-day meal, seated outdoors by the sidewalk, playing with his phone while all but oblivious to the world,
Hadn’t seen him for quite some time, figured we could chat for a while,
“Hey, Bro, how’re you doing?” the greeting roused him from cyberspace, immediately he stood then we shared a brotherly embrace,
“Been a long time,” said he, “how’s things with you?”
From there chopped it up in a hurry, his precious break was almost over, too,
Asked him if he was still going to the club, a shared space of ours,
He said it’s been a while before dropping a mini bombshell on us,
“I’m thinking about quitting,” he said, “what about you? Are you still going?”
But before I could respond the world started spinning,
My boy vanished without a trace, as did the setting we were standing in,
Until it was straight-up noir like many an Instagram post in mid-2020,
Followed by a buzzing sound, a white light suddenly greeted me…

The Next Morning

The phone alarm was squealing, it was morning already,
Yawning as I sat upright, pondering the meaning behind that dream from last night,
Three unrelated tales, each with differing points of view,
Finding myself stumped for answers, well, what say you?

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