Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Window and The Wall

I look up and out the window and all I see is another window straight across from mine. There are two women in track suits doing aerobics in front of a television. The prettier of the two looks out of her window and just stares into mine, a blank expression on her face, sweat pouring off her forehead. I have become just another image inside a building within the depths of a city.
I turn the light on in the room. There is no furniture, no television blaring, no refrigerator humming alone in the corner. There is only the perfect silence of nothingness. The room has been forgotten. It looks like it hasn’t been visited in ages. The light on the ceiling flickers on and off, off and on, on and off, off and on. In the moments of light I notice some photographs on the walls. I stand in the center and turn slowly around in a circle. My heart is still pounding. My feet are shaking. It is hard to swallow. My head hurts. I wish I had some water. All along the walls the photographs leave no space for paint or wall paper. I am in the middle of a room made out of pictures. I take a step forward towards one of the walls.
I wipe some sweat from my forehead and extend my hand, running my fingertips along the photographs. At first from the middle of the room they appeared as only blurs of color and I could barely make out any of the images. Now that I am closer to the wall I begin to focus on each individual photo. In one frame I see my house. I take a step back and stop for a second. I tap my finger against my front door. In another I see my lawn. The grass was long then. A few photographs over I see the rest stop where we were one summer when I played tag with my dad and he tripped and broke his arm. I see the town we went to, two states over, to buy our dog. There is a picture on the wall for every place I have ever been to. All the photos are lined up side by side and allow me to feel like I am conquering the great distances between them by just moving one step down. I see my best friend Joey’s house and his big swimming pool with the biggest slide in the world. The further I go down the wall the deeper into my past the pictures seem to go. I pass some photographs that are yellowing and broken around their edges. I touch them gently with my palm, my thumb up against them and I stop for a second.
Suddenly the walls of the room start to disintegrate and the pictures turn to dust on the floor and the walls turn to more dust on top of the dust already on the floor. I look out to where the window in the room used to be, where I saw the ladies in the track suits but the wall of the room and its window are now just one large open space. The breeze from the city touches my face. I take a few steps forward and I move my feet to the edge. I stand at the edge of where the floor of the room ends and the air of the city takes over. I take a deep breath and I blink.

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