I had been here before, a long time ago. The roof. The wind in my hair as I fell to the earth… bones shattering, blood spurting, children crying, and journalists salivating over their headline story for the next day.
But I survived and now I was back atop the roof of Very Bad Situation. I could jump again and face more consequences if I so desired. Alternately, I could climb from my perch and go back inside where my bones would be shattered again and my blood would spurt, albeit less conspicuously and more gradually and much to the entertainment of everybody present.
Just like on TV.
Then again, maybe I could abandon my obligation to choose. The sun warms my skin as I sit here and a gentle breeze blows through my hair. If I’m lucky, God could send a nice little windstorm to knock me down the stairwell or to the street below. My executioners (the pavement and/or the bureaucrats at Very Bad Situation) would still get to enjoy a feast and my soul would be relieved from having to take ownership of a punishment I do not wish to partake of.
That is, after all, the way evil is done to us: by forcing our prior consent, by blinding us to any alternate possibilities, by attempting to make us “serve” someone else when no authentic service would be given by jumping or by returning inside.
Moral of the story: When duty calls, eat a hamburger. (If you’re Hindu, eat a veggie burger.) The burger loves you unconditionally and asks nothing of you beyond some decent mustard and perhaps some ketchup.