Heels dangling over the edge of the New York City skyline, she climbed 1,576 steps just to see her life and its relationship to the streetcars below. On 31st street the sudden deaths of three people she will never meet cause a traffic delay of fifteen minutes. On 72nd and Broadway a boy walks alone, dragging his shoes across the pavement, considering how easy it will be to step in front of the 5 o’clock subway train. Years later he remembers a woman holding a sack of groceries whose glance kept him from the edge of the platform. On 29th street, an advertisement for chewing gum plays on a television as a man with white hair and shaking hands checks his mailbox to find it empty. He will die in his sleep tonight, but for now the TV blares and the mailbox maintains its vacancy. Some indistinguishable figure 1,576 steps below hails a cab. It’s too late, they’ve missed their flight and he is four hours dead, but the world is spinning. These seconds, these lives, they blend together into the din: a symphony. Simultaneously, or across the span of centuries. The prelude to silence.
Megan Loreto is an eighteen-year-old writer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area who is currently studying English at Loyola Marymount University. Megan was an editor of Backroads Magazine for the year of 2017. In her spare time, she can be caught leafing through the journals of Sylvia Plath, listening to records from the 1960s, or spending time with her two cats, Janie and Bingley.