These lazy days
Where the mind travels further than the body
We are caged like animals against the cold air
Days broken and limping
Boredom seeping, like some deadly gas through the window
Whiskey and waiting: finding my evening
Somewhere near the fire.
If you see a light at the end of the tunnel it's probably a train!
When I first read it, I laughed. Not that it was so funny. Just part of me was delighted that my spartan Nana had herself been amused(more) by this, and had paid $1 for it. She had a sense of humour but it was the type where her mouth squinched to suppress a smile whenever she heard a joke she liked.
Laughter was weakness and someone might pounce. Joy was dangerous.
But as the magnet remained up for years, the one bit of clutter on her clean fridge door, it began to discourage me.
She used it to pin up the week's bulletin from the Church, the leaflet that announced who was sick and needed prayers, and whether volunteers were needed for the upcoming bazaar and (on the back page) a few words from the pastor relating to the Sunday Gospel.
The magnet's dollar-store sentiment came to signify my Nan's outlook on life, which was never articulated frankly, but her behaviour led us to believe: any good news existed just to make you nice and soft for the blow of bad news sure to come.
My gran distrusted lucky or happy people; she was a fundamental believer in Fate but her outlook was skewed toward the darker side of yin-and-yang. Despite her prayers and her daily church attendance, despite her law-abidingness, there was something in my nan's good heart that always believed everything was about to fall to shit.
Her favourite saying (contradicting the magnet!) was:
"A door never closes unless a window opens."
But you could tell she said this only to demonstrate good faith in the world - one that she could not really believe in.(less)
Sometimes, you can sit alone, quiet, for hours upon hours, thinking about life and all of the bad decisions that you've made.
I never really had a choice.
(more) All my life, the noises of the world, that everyone else takes for granted, never penetrated my eardrums.
The doctors said I could (possibly) get my hearing as I grew up, but I could see it in their eyes. In my parents eyes. In the pitying eyes of everyone I ever met.
A lost cause. A hopeless case. No point in really trying.
Deal with it. I always had to just deal with it.
So day after day, I woke up, go to "school", (which consists of learning things from my mother that I will probably never use in life), going back up to my room, locking the door, and looking out my window.
My window gave me a little piece of the world. It was open, and bright, and beautiful. And in my silent world of thoughts and emotions, it was all I could really ask for. I would sit and watch the rain, which was a constant, as I live in Washington.
The grays, and light blues that drifted in through the window didn't bring much color into my life, but were welcome, nonetheless. They were a pathetic substitute for whatever sounds were supposed to be like, but I really couldn't ask for more.
So you can imagine my surprise, when one day, after my boring and aimless routine, as I sat down on my bed, and looked out of my window,
She looked through the window most of the time, every day, longingly staring at the children that were just past the warped glass. She always ended up placing her hand on the glass, though she was never aware of when she did it. But, hours later, she would feel(more) the chill in her hand and remove it, watching as the fog that surrounded a mini-hand print faded away. When she noticed this she would finally make a fist and tread carefully to her bed, wrap herself in the faded green sheets, and try to sleep.
The room she was in was small, the brown wooden floor broken and splintery; she had to step carefully to get to her bed so that her bare feet would stay wood-free. The walls used to be as white as her dress, but now they were a pale yellow, just like her sclera, and littered with tally marks. She had no more hair, but she remembers when she used to have it; she remembers it as the pale yellow, almost white, that her reflection had shown.
She had been in the room for years. She marked the days on her wall once she realized that she wasn't getting out. There were four thousand, nine hundred and twenty seven tick marks.
She wanted to get out.
But she couldn't.
So she stayed, and she watched the free ones play through her warped window and added tick marks to her wall, day after day after day after day until, one day when there were five thousand, two hundred and nine tick marks on her wall, she didn't wake up. Not in her bed, at least.
She woke up outside.(less)
A window is something you take for granted until you no longer have one.
They made me move my cubicle from the part of the office with windows to the part without windows. It was part of a greater, yet completely arbitrary, "reorganization" the goal of which wa(more)s "enhanced unity among the teams" and "opportunities for group innovation."
The loss of natural light--on top of the deterioration of my body from sitting at a desk for nearly a decade, on top of the stultifyingly boring and meaningless work, on top of the nihilism-inducing businesspeak floating in the air around my head like toxic waste on the surface of a pond, on top of the bitter rage at watching the complete devaluation of ideas, of books, as they were turned to mere fodder for bullshit marketing games and "promotions"--this was too much for me.
Light is necessary to life. You can't fake it. You can't put a "full-spectrum" lamp on your desk and sit in your dark hole and stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day and call that living. Not seeing outside, not ever looking at anything in the distance, not knowing the weather or where in the sky the sun is. No context. No perspective. No openness. No imagination. No daydreaming. No photosynthesis. No energy. No hope. No way out.
Except to quit.
I wrote this on a post-it note and left it on my boss's computer. I packed up, walked out, and spent the rest of the day sitting in the grass with the sun on my face.(less)
Late at night, I crack the blinds just enough to where I can see the stars and let the moonlight hit my face. Safe from the outside world I can see everything that happens, and dream of what could happen. Nothing is impossible, just me and the moon, separated(more) by a window.
It's a muffled squawk and a dull thud that jolts him out of his book and shoves him back into reality. Which was really weird, seeing as how no one was home.
There was also the fact that this was the third floor.
Quickly slotting a bookmark in(more) place, he grabs the nearest potential weapon (a handheld vacuum) and runs towards the approximate origin. To be honest, he didn't really know what a vacuum could actually do against what could be an armed burglar, but like hell he'd duck and cover while something's going on! He slides up to his father's study, hearing muted curses through the door, and bursts though with gusto. "What the hell is going-" he cuts himself off, dropping the last-minute weapon in surprise. "Yanna?"
"Dewey?" She blinks up at him from the ground, momentarily pausing her attempts to get her legs completely through the window. "What are you doing here?"
"Wh- shouldn't I be asking you that? This is my house!"
"Ah, is it? I didn't realize."
"That doesn't answer the question, y'know..."
"Well, first of all..." Grinning sheepishly, she limply flailed in his general direction. "D'ya think you could give me a hand here?"(less)
I stood on the damp grass, with my shoes soaking up water. I kicked my heel deeper into the dirt, and glanced across the field at him.
Maybe I could have run up to him and started a conversation. He could have told I joke, and I might(more) have laughed. We would look back fondly at this very spot in twenty years as the place we first met. We might have grown old together and had four kids and a dog.
But I turned my back on all the doors of opportunity. Instead, a found a nice window. I could watch safely from a distance, where I would not fear the risks of opening a door.
When she looks at her older brother, she sees happiness and joy and love for his new wife, Julia. He doesn't know she's seen the marks on Julia's skin, just barely covered by the fabric of the white dress.
When she looks at her younger brother, she sees(more) confusion and depression, a struggle between his parents and the drugs he hides from them. He doesn't know she's seen him doing pot late at night.
When she looks at her father, she sees knowledge and mirth mingled with stress, the burden of being an advocate for the law. He doesn't know she's seen the secret love letters in his closet, when she went to grab a pair of shoes for him.
When she looks at her mother, she sees age and wisdom over a layer of gradually deepening wrinkles, a patina of life written across it. She doesn't know her daughter's seen the medical reports in her room, a malignant tumor in her right breast.
When she looks at her best friend, Emmy, she sees confidence and certainty in grades, in basketball, in her relationship with her boyfriend of 8 months, Justin. Emmy doesn't know she's seen the picture of her kissing another girl, smushed between the books on her bookshelf.
The eyes are the window to the soul, she thinks. No passerby would be able to see what she does. She sees the whole house; they only see a glimpse from the window. (less)
available, already yours
& pushing in (behind closed doors,
remember?) my harassing way
which you kept floating
filed away, accepting
how i thrust at you
(more) in want to hear our voices deux
scream harmonizing passions
through, our pleasured pains-
i wanted you
& wanted by some lot was i
while you did swoon over
your guy, the one that i'd have died
to be, as you well knew & so
did seize, advantage of advances-
a window of opportunity.(less)
Her hands pressed against the glass, breath puffing out to fog over the pane in sharp, excited clouds. She was sweaty and her eyes were closed, and he could see the rocking motions from where he stood in the garden below.
It was dark and she was lit fro(more)m behind, and just watching her move, he felt a wave of heat coursing through his veins, despite the cold.
It didn't last long though, when the powerful hands behind her that had been wrapped around her neck suddenly jerked. The breaths stopped coming and her hands slid away. The lights turned off, until all he could see was the darkness, and his breath, and the outline of a window.(less)