Sunday, April 5, 2009


(part 116) JUMP!

I remember the wind suddenly changing directions as I fell through space toward the roof below. Now freed from my steel perch I was transformed into dead weight racing downward through the air. In mid flight I remember thinking, "I should already be on the roof," but I was not. The mere fact that I had time to think was signal enough that my judgement of the distance, was way off.

As I flapped my arms trying to slow my descent and right myself, the angle of my trajectory veered slightly to the left. I hit the roof like a sack of concrete landing on my left foot first, followed quickly by my right foot with slightly less impact. My body crumpled like paper against the flat hard surface of the roof, slamming my mouth shut with such force it nearly knocked me out. I lay there in a heap for a moment, dazed and unsure of my condition, and was quickly surrounded by firemen as I tried crawling toward a wall to lean against.

I couldn't speak at first, because the impact of the landing had completely knocked the wind out of me. I distinctly remember, at the time, being aware of the lack of any pain whatsoever. Other than feeling I'd had the crap kicked out of me I thought I was OK, because there was no pain. As I leaned back against a retaining wall a fireman cut the leg of my leather pants with a large pair of shears, looking for damage. "Hey!" I managed to say, pushing my hand at him,"These are expensive pants." He looked at me like I was nut's, which I was, and pulled back shaking his head in amazement.

As I began gathering what little of my senses I had left, the area of the roof became somewhat of a madhouse. I leaned against the wall and dimly watched the activity around me. I don't have any clear recollections of what took place up there after that, other than what I have told you, so the actual facts of that time period would have to be obtained from someone other than me. The next thing I do remember was lying on my bed in the small room I had rented for a week, prior to climbing the tower. I think it was on Cherokee Ave. in Hollywood a few blocks from the Pacific Theater. I had about 3 days left on the rent and then I'd be out on the street again.

As promised by Dr. Ferguson, I was not arrested or taken away by anyone, which in itself is remarkable. I have no memory of how I got from the scene on the roof to the tiny room I was now in. I do remember watching myself on the news all afternoon, on a small portable black and white TV, and being amazed by the amount of coverage the whole thing received. I watched it over and over as they showed me on the tower at different stages. I remember those pictures vividly and in particular the look on my face when I jumped. As I lay there on the bed for hours, reliving the day and listening to reports, the pain began to come. Where there had been none, there was now an explosion of pain.

As I lay there in that room my agony began to mount. I tried moving around and getting into different positions on the bed, but nothing helped. As the misery increased I found it impossible to keep my self quiet, and began moaning into my pillow. I tried to get off the bed and go ask for help but found I could not walk or crawl. There was no telephone, so I couldn't call. I had only the sound of my voice or banging on the wall as a means of getting someone's attention.

It had been some 6 hours since I jumped off the tower and my feet were enlarged from swelling. The left one appeared to be much worse but they both looked bad. The pain had now become intolerable, and I cried out begging for help. With no way to get off the bed, I was stranded there trying to get someone to hear me. It wasn't as if no one knew I was there, the whole building knew what had happened to me. After sometime, and because of the increasing volume of sounds coming from my room, there was a knock on my door.

"Hey are you OK in there?" No!" I moaned, I need some help, I need help." A few minutes later I heard someone at the door again and it opened slightly. A face peered in and asked how I was doing. "Not so good," I sobbed, "I think I gotta go to the hospital, I can't walk." I broke down at that point crying openly. A very large guy I didn't know, but had seen around the building days before, rushed in saying, "It's OK man, it's OK! We'll get you to the hospital. He reached down and picked me up in his arms and carried me out of the room.

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