arts & music


by Amber — December 25, 2014

how-to-paint-shadows-sunlightIt’s hard. Not school. It’s this damn seat. It’s hard. My back hurts, my neck’s stiff and it seems as if the bones in my butt are pushing out through my skin and rubbing against this plastic seat. Is it plastic? And the loose screw in this seat does nothing to make my shifting around silent.

Maybe if I chew on my pen lid, what’s left of my pen lid, I can stay focused on this boring lecture.

Our Professor, is a leftover from the 60’s. He’s bald on top with a frizzy grey ponytail stretching down his back. He reads from a computer printout, the kind where all the pages are still attached by perforated edges. He doesn’t take his eyes off that paper, he just reads on and on for the full three hours of the class. I will shoot myself if I fail and have to take this again.

Somewhere at the front of the windowless room trails a beam of sun. My eyes are focused on its darkness. It’s only a shadow. Like the sun would appear if it were beyond Alice’s looking glass. I want to touch it. Does a sun shadow still feel hot? But leaving my desk while he is blathering on about the history of blah, blah, blah would offend him. Especially to investigate something he hasn’t noticed.

I try to ignore the sun shadow but it grows larger and denser with every word my Professor speaks until his words revert back to letters and disappear.

I’m swallowed.

It’s bright and quiet in this darkness. No talking, no lecturing, no reading from paper. It’s safe and warm.

Before I have a chance to ask why I’ve been chosen again its shady arms reach out to hug me like the arms of a cartoon ghost. It caresses my back, whispers into my ear and poetically pulls me towards the darkness. My feet never touch the ground.

I’ve stopped.

There’s a wall.

It sings with the pressure of my body pressed up against it and molds my face into its surface. It vibrates for me to step through it. My body tingles in response.

This is not a wall made of space. Its texture is like jell-o, with elastic built into it. The only way to walk through is to do it deliberately. I have to make a choice.

I press my hands up against the wall. I don’t struggle. I barely breathe. I just feel. There is warmth, love, hatred, sorrow, joy. The feelings are eternal. They whisper to me, offer me treasures non-existent in my conscious life. They offer me their world and my knees go weak.

My ears are haunted by the singing. My body is quivering with each caress of the soft swirly arms. I crave the feast before me. I close my eyes and they flutter, convulse. I make my choice.


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