Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I was merely popping out for lunch to get away from my work desk, and enjoy the beautiful spring day outside.

    Rounding a corner there it stood, a fully rigged trapeze in the middle of the CBD, with a half naked guy in spandex lazily swinging upside down, hanging by his knees back and forth in the breeze.

    He must be the paid professional.

    Hunger would normally preclude any stopping - this however deserved some attention.

    A queue of unlikely trapeze artists stood staring upwards at one of their peers, who was now perched nervously high above the safety of ground level at the top of the rigging on a platform.

    She must be the paying novice customer. The fact she was the only one wearing a safety harness was a dead give-away.

    Those on the ground those waiting were dressed like they too had merely stepped out for lunch, now with safety harnesses in place of suit jackets.

    Within seconds, the shrieking of Ms Nervous echoed off the surrounding buildings as her feet left the platform, and she swung into the void.

    I immediately admired her courage. I know what it takes to defeat every natural instinct that tells you not to step off the edge, and urging her to simply climb back down the ladder instead. But there she was, now swinging 60 feet up in the open air.

    On the second swing, she reached out. Mr Spandex artfully took both her hands - pulling her from the safety of her own swing and into a wild dangling arc below him.

    The gathered crowd both gasped and cheered simultaneously. Ms Nervous did it. She had successfully done what 98% of those watching could not - and in doing so vicariously lived their fears and dreams too. Ms Nervous deserved the ensuing applause.

    I tried to figure out how much of the Crowd's feeling was excitement that Mr Spandex caught her, and how much was slight dissapointment that she did not miss entirely and end up cart-wheeling earthwards? I was reasonably certain it was this latter possibility that drew the crowds in the first instance.

    I was jealous of the bit where Ms Nervous then let go, and briefly went into free-fall on her back until the safety net arrested her plummeting. Then again, I also wished I had joined the queue and put on the safety harness, but like most of those gathered to watch, I didn't.

    By the time I finally got to the shop, they were out of Chicken Wraps, but after watching Ms Nervous - it was hard to be upset.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.