Your lungs on fire, you try to keep the rhythm. Left, right, left, right… how much longer? You push aside that thought, and concentrate on the next step.
Left, right, left, right… don’t count the steps, it’s no use. Just keep climbing and try not to loose your rhythm.
You heart pounds, trying to break free from the prison of your ribs. Watch your breath, watch your rhythm, don’t loose your step.
Another floor goes by, you don’t even read the number. The rhythmic sound of steps sounds all around you. You keep going.
Up, up, left, right… your legs are aching, your feet sore. You just keep climbing, trying to keep your rhythm among the closely confined pack.
A new sound from very near above you… Clapping? Cheers? Concentrate! Stay focused! Keep on climbing. Left, right, left, right.
The floor turns level. Is that a door ahead? Push the thought aside, Just keep going!
The sun shines suddenly on your face. You’re not sure if someone called your name among the cheers around you.
A bottle of cold water, a banana, an orange… all are pressed into your hands by smiling people. Some of them look at you with sincere awe. You smile, mumble thank you, and keep walking.
The breeze blows gently in your face as you rest against the terrace railing. Somebody thanks a sponsor and goes on giving stats over the PA, the crowd keeps cheering. You turn to view the city far below.
You check the small computer on your wrist. 55 floors in 29:34… “–Not bad…” you think, “…for having gone thru hell climbing to heaven”. Your legs are burning, but you still can’t help but smile.
Someone pats your aching shoulder. Another tired and smiling face goes by. You give a thumbs up, sharing that weird brotherhood of total strangers caught by the same madness.
A bell beckons you to board the waiting lift… you wave goodbye to no one in particular, and step inside.