1. Bartleby Jumps

1. Bartleby Jumps

[To the Rescue]
[2. On the Roof Again]

Bartleby Willard strides the roof of the Skullvalley After Whistletown Building in Somewhere Sometime Wall Street at the southern tip of the old isle of Manhattos.

Bartleby stands — a thin, bespeckled, see-through man dressed in black dress shoes, smoothly-flowing navy blue dress slacks, and a maroon V-neck cashmere tight-weave sweater over a lightblue dress shirt — on the red ceramic arching tiles on top of the parapet surrounding the SAWB rooftop, enclosing a pretty cobblestone courtyard complete with vegetable, flower, and fruit gardens, as well as a little sheltered bandstand where Bartleby sometimes plays in a one-man band while Amble edits world-redeeming poetry, fiction, and essays on the little picnic table beneath the shady three-walled grape arbor a little ways past the small wooden bleachers semi-circling one half of the likewise small and (mostly) wooden (the floor’s concrete) bandstand.

Bartleby Willard leans out over the street that jostles, thrice hundred feet below, to the dialectical beat of a thousand human, rat, pigeon, mouse, squirrel, dog, tiny brown-winged white-bellied puff-chested hop-hop bird, cat, and more and ever-more self- and other-contradicting definitions of freedom, thriving, safety, happiness, decency, joy, rest, and et cetera evolving theorizations.

“I’m gonna jump! I swear, I’m gonna do it!,” shouts Bartleby into the tussling winter winds, blue skies and roughgray-bottomed but fluffywhite-topped clouds on all sides and for no reasons.

Amble Whistletown, beautiful in his still-shining square-jawed and -shouldered youth, stares at his laptop on the sturdy picnic table/bench with thick green-painted rectangular boards bolted by silver dome-topped bolts to the thick rectangular black-painted metal supports (it looks just like some picnic tables I’ve seen in Prospect Park; and hey!, one of those tables is missing from Prospect Park! These guys!).

The grape arbor has been magically removed to nowhere* for the winter season, so Amble has a clear view of Bartleby as he looks up, annoyed at his friend’s loud shenanigans when here it is Saturday morning and when does he ever have enough quiet to really focus on the difficult task of editing Bartleby Willard — that capricious force of crushed nature; that reckless self-imposed daydream; that tosser-out and piler-up of words words not-always-the-best-words words!

*[Editor’s Note: Removed to nowhere? You mean to what is beyond being and non-being? You mean to say that this grape arbor was moved to nirvana???? To the blessed place prior to all space and no-space? Really?

Author’s Note: I mean, never mind that part. The thing’s not there right now. It’ll return with better weather. Don’t worry about it.

Editor’s Note: “Removed to nowhere” is what you said.]

Bartleby thinks maybe the wind has churned his words up, preventing the precious, well-considered soundwaves from adequately undulating to all corners of the world. Most specifically, he thinks maybe they didn’t reach Amble, who is some fifty feet behind him. So Bartleby turns around and, looking over Amble’s head, as if no one else were on the roof, and Bartleby were just speaking his soul out to the unsouled elements, he again yells, “I’m gonna jump! I swear, I’m gonna do it!”

Amble, already annoyed by a half-page-of-running-on-and-on sentence that he desperately wants to emend and that he KNOWS Bartleby is going to call artistic license and otherwise tooth-and-nail fight him on, looks up, tosses his shoulders back, cups hands to mouth to megaphone his responses, and shouts, “Well, hurry up and jump! The pavement can’t wait all day!”

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Mac Watson

[To the Rescue]
[2. On the Roof Again]

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