The vacuum was so loud that it occurred to me that I might be able to in fact get off a shot without anyone noticing. In the next office I turned into the open doorway, turned and took aim at a bookcase on the far wall. It was not an easy thing to pull the trigger, but I managed it and the bookcase shook with the force of the shot as a hole appeared in the considerable spines of one of the volumes. Might I tell you how much this increased the utter quality of pleasure involved in this action?
I pray that it would not be possible except to say that the tingling quality in all my limbs was not unlike the few moments after climax during sex. In fact I went to the bathroom next and spent a few moments in one of the stalls. When I pissed finally afterwards, I felt better than I had in a long time.
I also felt that I had become almost completely unhinged. I felt like a boat that has left its ties on the dock, and without captain begins to drift toward the greater sea. I went into one more office and would have gone on and went into more except for what happened there.
I jumped into the open doorway, aimed the pistol this time for the back of the leather swivel chair, which for some reason was in front of the desk rather than behind. It was then that I noticed that the chair was trembling slightly. The chair suddenly swiveled and in turning upset the utter quality of concentration which I had achieved.
A woman sighed exquisitely. I saw a woman’s skirt and bare hips straddling that of a man’s before I realized who it was: the woman had beaten me out for partner. The man was not a partner. Neither of them should have been in this office.
We all stopped what we were doing for a moment. They stopped fucking and I stopped breathing. Oh they saw the gun. A pistol pointed at you is not something that one misses. No one said anything. I slowly used my thumb to cock the hammer back. The order of events is weird to think of now. I remember speaking with the man. I was angry. I yelled at him.
What does your wife think of this?
Have you gone mad? he yelled.
She is going to have to reapply her lipstick, I said.
He cursed at me with a most ghastly string of epithets that I will not repeat here.
We went back and forth.
The woman got to her feet. One of them was white and the other black and for some reason this seemed really significant to me. It took that special swivel of the hips that is necessary to come off of someone like that. She pulled down her skirt and then pulled up her hose. I remember how they blotted slightly, the wetness of her sex, how I could almost taste that, and at that moment I thought he was right and I knew what it felt to not know who you were and what you might do next and that knowing who you were and where you fit in the world was an important facet of sanity and that this is something of what I had lost.
I raised the gun and shot out one of the full length windows. They both ran out of the room and I watched them go. What was truly weird is that they did not call the police right away or if they did, they did not arrive until I had time to stand out and lean over the broken window. The bullet had done enough damage so that it would have been possible for me to step over say a six inch shard no more and step off into the abyss. We were on the 61st floor of 9 West 57th, a building known for its distinctive hourglass design.