The Angle

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In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.

"It began and ended with a flash. His hands moved swiftly, grabbing at the drunken levers, and all at once he was out. Tearing, smashing through the solid air, the noise resounding in his ears, he sped earthward. His body moved quickly, the flashing clouds and dancing sun weaving a kaleidoscopic pattern on his aching eyes. Even now the fear was in his throat, and the wind ripped away his scream. With a jarring shock the parachute opened. His bouncing, spinning body came to rest. Down was restored and he felt suddenly calmed, even relieved to be here with nothing under his boots but the haze-shrouded emptiness of air. The earth was a recognizable map, tilting back and forth, teetering, but very solid. He looked up at the red-white canopy above him; he became dizzy and afraid again. The earth below moved closer to him. As it rushed up his senses cleared. He could see where he would land. The ice and snow rammed up and up and he hit-rolling, scrambling, legs, arms, head all mingling in one pain-and it was over. He lay quiet. He listened to the cold wind and the shaking of his body and be was peaceful."

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