If one finds oneself on the uppermost floor of the parking garage of the Topanga Mall, gazing north and east across the great plain of the Valley, overwhelmed with melancholy, and entertaining the five-storey plunge to Canoga (or at this particular spot, the two-storey drop to the food court roof) and a not exactly instantaneous death ….there is a number you can call. As a friendly reminder for the fence-sitters, there is a sign like this about every thirty feet. Or, as an alternative, you can take the train:
There are a number of street crossings like this at critical junctions in the Valley. This ending is instantaneous. You can feel the gravitational pull of the locomotion splitting the air, rattling femur and ribcage, even while tucked safely in your car at a legally mandated remove behind the crossing gates. Imagine standing on the tracks, the distance between you and the Surfliner closing by the second. Many people have. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, have taken this very route, and yet there are no signs anywhere, no numbers to call. We find them in pieces scattered over the length of a football field, goodbye notes folded into their backpacks. Exactly one person has jumped from the top floor of the Topanga Mall. Make of it what you will.