Where are you? Your room? A hotel lobby? the top of a burning building? In the finest detail possible, describe everything you possibly can, from the sound to the smell to the temperature. Be extremely specific.
Length: 500 Words
I watch the door for interruptions, welcome and unwelcome; they are interruptions all the same. There is a surrounding silence as I stare at the walls filled with maps and stories of other lands, other times, and other creations. On occasion, while sitting in the rather discomforting “Blue Room”, you hear the laugh tracks from a sitcom playing on the television next door or chance it to be the News droning on about the latest political upset or why health insurance will save my life, while taking me back to the Middle Ages of “Hello I am Maud and I am an indentured slave? Servant?” I have good ears for the conversations I hear too. If I step into the “Orange and Yellow Back Room” (which you would think “’Orange and Yellow Room’, that’s sure to be bright,” but alas it is rather dark for a room holding portals to every childhood adventure you could imagine) I can hear the old men bent on the business of yarn telling, colorful and amusing language abounding. Charlie’s new tractor, Marv’s thoughts on the President, the mixed up bag of a Midwest farming community are sure to be interesting and enlightening in a conservative radical way. I walk back to the “Blue Room” and find my seat waiting for me with the days packed amusements. The blue and white checkered sofa is nice, in a 1990’s Full House sort of way, but I could have sold it 20 times over in the last four years of peddling the inheritances of generations. Deep breaths as I continue to stare ahead listening to what the masters and novices are telling me. At times the smell is dusty and ancient, but then the next day could be the harsh exciting smell of something new. I gather the words together and let them tell their stories. They have spines that tell me much or nothing at all. Spines that are thick and strong — stronger than what I believe I myself am capable of in this world of words and talking on paper — spines with better names than guts. I eye them and think, “Guts and glory, guts and glory it takes so much effort or so little depending on who you are or where you are in life.” I check the door, 2 rooms from me, another “Yellow Room” and then a “Green Room”, and I will for it to open. I will for it to open so the silence that is these thousands upon thousands of other’s stories might become their stories or their friends. That they might leave a loyal “Thank you come again sort”, hands heavy with their discoveries and pockets lighter for their work or is it my work? It’s difficult to be certain. Perhaps they will grieve me in some way with their words of the world outside of “Progress! Progress!” and I will wonder why they bothered to break the silent meditation I had with the walls and shelves surrounding me in fortress greatness.
No one disrupts the bells by opening my door though, but I can see the steady traffic passing by. Small-town madness, you are always wishing to be discovered, but simultaneously content with the simple solitude it is want to bring your way.
I push myself deeper into the checkered sofa and let the florescent lighting wash me in its flashy, nearly mesmerizing hues of a truly ugly nature. I am tempted to turn off the lights and look at my friends in the shadows, in the eerie reverent way the darkness can sometimes allow. I think better of it. As I want so many in this world to see me for who I am truly, I want to see these pages and pages for their true selves. They are not all great or worthy of the ink that they were impregnated with by a starving artist in the hours of a midnight epiphany or a college student drunk on the narcissistic idea of “I am brilliant so hear me roar.” No. They are great because they are letters and words printed on pages and pages and bound and shelved until a chance interrupter opens my door and finds what they are looking for. Perhaps the shelves will be lined with the spines of their discoveries and experiences tomorrow because they opened my door. My door, with maps and stories of other lands, other times, and other creations lining the walls like so many books on so many shelves.
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