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Linden’s Last Life

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Linden’s Last Life

One man’s journey of the soul.
Alan Cohen
Alan Cohen More by this author
Oct 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM

For as many times as I wondered how I would die, I never imagined it would be at my own hand.

I stood on the burnt-orange railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, my knees shaking violently, staring into the icy water more than 200 feet below. The full moon cast an eerie glow over the angry, gray churning swells, soon to swallow me whole. Fear clutched my naked throat like a cold steel hand, and my body stiffened. A voice in my head screamed: Get down and save yourself while you can! But I had made up my mind. Even a painful death could be no worse than the agony that had ravaged me for so long.

The night I found them still tortured me. Through the fogged window of a dark green Mercedes I saw my girlfriend straddling her ego-bloated managing editor. Vicky’s dress was up around her waist, and she was riding him like an animal. Jesus . . . they couldn’t even wait until they got into her apartment, just steps from the car.

Crimson fury exploded through my brain. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Vicky?!” I yelled, pounding on the roof.

Startled, Vicky straightened out her dress and rubbed the fog off the inside of the window. When she saw that it was me, she made a pained face and lowered the window. “I’m sorry, Linden,” she called through the darkness. “I need to be with someone who wants to make something of his life.” She caught my eyes for a brief moment, and then the electric window silently rolled closed, shutting me out like a stray dog. I slammed on the roof one more time and stumbled away, nearly tripping in the boots my buddy had given me that were a size too small.

Just when I thought my life couldn’t possibly get worse, it did. If you’ve ever wondered how much hell could be packed into six months, I can tell you. Try: Magazine I write for goes belly-up. Car’s transmission dies. Landlord kicks me out on my ass. I go to see my uncle John, the only relative I ever felt understood me, and his depressed wife tells me he has been ordered into a drug-treatment program for a cocaine addiction he has kept secret for years. Then she tries to seduce me. When I refuse her advances, she threatens to tell him I attacked her. When I can’t pay my drinking buddy the hundred bucks I owe him, he picks a fight with me in a bar, we both get busted, and the public defender is sure I will get sentenced to jail time. I start walking the streets and grow a blister on my foot that gets infected; when I go to the emergency room, they won’t treat me without insurance.

I make my way to the bridge.

Vicky wasn’t the only girlfriend I’d ever had—just the only one I loved. She was sassy and steamy enough to melt every guy who showed up at the Time Out reception desk. When I came in to drop off my articles, her coquettish smile disarmed me, and our conversations turned into hypnotic interludes. (I didn’t quite know how to respond when she told me I looked like Brad Pitt with darker hair and deeper eyes.) I would walk out of the office all aflutter and find excuses to come back just to see her. Our dates were casual at first, but soon turned into marathon lovemaking sessions peppered with metaphysical discussions and laughter. Yet when Vicky practically drooled over dresses she saw in the Macy’s window and seemed overly impressed by her boss’s new car, I should have seen the bomb coming. But my hope for what could be blinded me to what was, and I had to learn the hard way that betrayal lurks behind even the sunniest moments.

But none of that mattered now—in a few moments it would all be over. I steadied myself for a moment against a thick steel cable, took a breath, and held it. . . . Last chance to turn back. . . . No turning back. . . . Gotta stop this pain in my heart. . . . Just push off. . . . One little step and it will all be over. . . . What’s that on my ankle? . . . Someone touching me . . . a hand? . . . Not grabbing . . . but strong. . . .

Just as down-and-out Linden Kozlowski is about to end it all, he’s intercepted by a stranger who says that if he runs away from his life, he’ll have to return. And his problems will just get worse. Sometimes people who are headed to one place find a good reason to choose another. And so the saga begins . .

About Author
Alan Cohen
Alan Cohen is the author of 17 popular inspirational books, including the classic The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and the award-winning book A Deep Breath of Life. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times best Continue reading