Raise the Roof

Last night, I walked up Broadway long after midnight. Fluffy snow was beginning to fall, and as I looked West at the Palisades glowing in the snow dance moonlight, I could already foresee the catastrophic commute that’s currently permitting me time to write this post. The malls running through the center of the thoroughfare were covered with a virgin later of powder and I walked, light with life and libation, to my humble abode.

Upon arrival, I wasn’t tired, so I decided to head to the top floor and see whether or not the door to the roof was open. Is there anything more humbling than looking out over a flake-frosted city that reads like a dream and feels like a fantasy through the lash kisses and the twinkles on the cheeks?

It was indeed open. As I stood on the roof by myself at the witching hours, I smiled. I kept calm and radiated love. Love for the city. For my friends as family. For the potential of creation, for stories yet unwritten, impending voyages, water in the form of diamonds. I decided that a cup of Raspberry Zinger and a page or two of writing would be the perfect nightcap to an already lovely eve, and so, with a full heart, turned away from the glowing skyline and reached for the door handle. Unfortunately, I realized that there wasn’t one. Nor was there a knob, a string, a pulley, a leaver, or a rope.

And so, at two am last night, I found myself locked, in a snowstorm, on my mother fucking roof.

It’s amazing how quick your mode can switch. One second you’re philosophically extolling the virtues of high, flat surfaces with elevated vantage points and their subsequent effect on the soul, and the next, you’re staring at a “ladder” that’s “nailed” with what may or may not be a safety pin to a suspiciously unstable roof.  This is when you think to yourself: “Why don’t I live in a doorman building in Williamsburg?” This is when you wonder how it would feel to freeze to death. This is when you pick up your cell phone and call for help.

Unfortunately for me, at 2:15 in the morning, most people are floating in dreamland; my roommates were no exception. I did all of the normal things you do when you’re locked on a roof in a snowstorm, tipsy, at 2:15 in the morning. I slammed my whole body against the wall. I grabbed the shabby excuse for a fire escape and shook it to see if it could withstand my body weight; with the creaking it emitted, I doubt it could withstand that of a chihuahua. I tried to jimmy the lock with my credit card. I sat down in the snow and tried to imagine being an Eskimo. I texted my roommates. I laughed hysterically. I texted my roommates again. I wished I had bought a beer at the deli. I threw myself against the door, harder. The cycle continued.

Persistence pays off. One of my dear roommates, to whom I now owe my life, ultimately answered her phone, and came and saved me just as mine ran out of battery and powered off. In retrospect, despite the fact that I got traumatized for half and hour, it was a great event; I haven’t laughed that hard since someone wrote “microbe wave” in a fiction submission. After being on house arrest for fiscal and meteorological reasons for what seems like an eternity, it was reassuring to finally have something happen that didn’t end in: “And then I talked to the guys in the deli for 45 minutes while they made my sandwich before I went home and played Sporcle for three hours.” Indeed, ludicrous shenanigans are what make life worth living (though chipotle chicken sandwiches with avocado are a close second).



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