Wednesday, July 30, 2003

it was such a privilege to have an eraser pencil in kindergarten. that's what we called them, eraser pencils, to distinguish them from the rest of the pencils, almost all of the pencils, from which the teacher had ripped the erasers. to this day, i do not understand why the teacher did that.

Monday, July 28, 2003

the two hundred year old book smelled like tea...fragrant, earl grey tea. fitting, since the book was a little old tome of english law. i expected the book to smell like dust, to choke me when i inhaled the scent of its pages, but it did not. nothing gritty or awful rose from the pages, just the wonderful scent of tea. if the book weren't library property, i'd be tempted to brew one of the pages to see what it tastes like, to see of the pages of this book were made of tea, if they made such magical, mystical books in 1806.
i have a mental image of myself bouncing and flailing in a cardboard box. the box was a perfect cube, but it has become beaten with age...there are creases especially along the side walls, and all of the corners are crushed in an accordion fashion. the corrugated cardboard of which the box is made has become limper than it should be to make the box at all useful, and yet it still contains me. i still can't decide whether i'm still in the box because i'm not strong enough to break this flimsy cardboard, or if i'm still in the box because i don't want badly enough to break out, since i'm still fairly comfortable in the box despite my flailing and bouncing, and there is some light of unknown origin inside the box. maybe i just haven't gotten everything i can out of the box, and then when i do, i will have beaten the box so thoroughly that it will have no choice but to let me out.

one day, i will outgrow this box.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

some more work on the door room story, from when i was writing at the coffeeshop last night

jancie heard the harsh sound of a metal door slamming shut, and the door locking behind her. it sounded like a jail cell in the movies. she was alone in the room except for the locked door behind her, two other locked doors in front of her, and two rod-shaped fluorescent lightbulbs over her head.

a pair of keys dropped in front of her feet. jancie looked up to ascertain fron whence they came, but all she saw was the two fluorescent lightbulbs and the olive green plaster ceiling. she looked around to make sure there were no eyes peering at her from the walls, picked up the keys, and wondered which door she should try first.

she still had no idea why she was in this room, how she got there. the last thing she knew before she entered it, she had been writhing frantically on her too-small living room couch, trying to get comfortable. she was also in the middle of a heavy, solitary pondering session about where her life was headed. however unpleasant it was, however scary, she decided that she needed to finish this exercise. the desolate room with three doors and two keys was not helping her think at all. letting herself assume that this was the door from which she came into the room, she decided that her most logical choice would be to test the keys in the door behind her, the one that she had heard shut and lock only moments before.

jancie turned around and walked the three quick steps to the door. the linoleum floorm as ugly and olive green as everything else in the room, was freezing cold underfoot. she gripped the cold metal doorknob, jerked it around a bit, and pulled, testing the door in the small hope that it was unlocked, that she wouldn't need either of the mysterious keys. this effort was to no avail, and the door did not even budge.

looking down at her hands, jancie fumbled with the two keys she had picked up. they were both about the same size, but one of the keys had a rounded head, and the other had a square head. preferring rounder shapes in general, she picked up the round-headed key and slid it into the lock in the door. she attempted to turn the key, but the feeling was eerily similar to the one she got when she tested the doorknob. jancie jerked and jiggled the key, but never went more than a millimeter or two in either direction. frustrated, she pulled the key out of the door, planning to next test the square key.

she had hardly pulled the key out of the door when she saw the bulbous handle of the doorknob drop to the floor. it hit the linoleum with a definitive clack, and jancie instinctively bent over to pick up the doorknob. she looked down, bent over, and picked it up; the door was out of her field of vision for no longer than a second. when she looked up again, confused and frustrated with her presence in the room and her inability to get through the door and out, she beheld an expanse of olive green wall where the door had been only moments before.

"i wish you hadn't tried to do that."

jancie looked around, finding her incomprehensible situation even less comprehensible. she had no idea where she was, and besides, seh had just checked the room for company moments before and found none. she frantically looked for the source of this voice: a face, a speaker, a hole in the wall, anything.
the car will pass, and then i will pass. that car is such a beater, clunking along as it chugs past me down the dark street.

i'm reappearing from a day of disappearing. i didn't disappear completely, i just retreated for a few hours to a neighbourhood where no one knew me and no one would notice that i existed, watching people and writing nothing in particular.

Friday, July 25, 2003

jancie heard the harsh sound of a metal door slamming shut, and the door locking behind her. it sounded like a jail cell in the movies. she was alone in the room except for the locked door behind her, two other locked doors in front of her, and two rod-shaped fluorescent lightbulbs over her head. suddenly, two keys drop onto the floor in front of her.

she didn't pick them up immediately. (looks around, to find source.)

(hears voice telling her about doors)
rivulets
(bashing in a library)


red rivulets radiate out from the orb on the cold tiled floor
blackening around the edges
and dribbling ever closer to the edges of the metal shelves

she would inhale a cocktail of blood
dust
and stale back-room air
if she had the privilege of breathing

and the girl looking for wisdom
to guide her through a secret she could not bring herself to tell
will never find that wisdom
will never tell her secret

the foundation of the shelf is an inch of metal
so there's no chance the gentle, old leaves of wisdom will be harmed
so other brave souls may follow if they choose
and find the courage
to prevent the scene that transpired
from transpiring again
to prevent the ones that follow her
from buckling under the same secret

and her secret will be unearthed by breathing ancestors
and clear rivulets
will stain the wooden floor of her hovel
as they come to terms with the scene that transpired
as they come to terms with the door behind which she lived

Thursday, July 24, 2003

you wasted your green on the summertime
when i couldn't stand to see it
when sunlight drove me behind the walls
in futile attempts to flee it