At 8 PM she sat in her cluttered room, with dust in it’s creaky tiles. She had the plastic pen in her mouth. It was battered at the end, where she chewed on it, like the meal she’d skipped. Her coffee stained notebook splayed across a dirty table waiting to be written in. What was she going to tell it? She didn’t know. She had hardly lived long enough to have any stories to tell. How could she stray beyond that white painted picket fence? How could she step off the porch into the world that was never all that fond of her? How was she going to leave her life to create a life worth writing about? Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but her home was her home after all.
She closed the tiny book and crawled onto the floor, where she spread her limbs long like a rug. First, she looked up to her ceiling and felt her mind shut off. Second, she turned her head, left, to face her window. It was so large that there wasn’t much room left for any of the wall. Just an inch or two around the perimeter. It was already dark outside. The snow was packing up around her like the Styrofoam she used in her essential oil packages. The ones that made just enough money for rent and “a simple life.”
She thought about how far her creations must have traveled. Once, she recalled, she got an order from Australia. That was on the other side of the world. She imagined the people her package must have met, the borders it crossed and the oceans it could have fallen into. And what if it had fallen into them? She thought that the cardboard box would expand with water and sink deep into the depths. Seeing things that no human has ever seen. Down into the ocean, if it wasn’t broken by then. Down it would go until there was no light. Where there were creatures that she couldn’t imagine but who could see her very clearly-no, she thought, it’s better to be here.
She looked across her quiet street. She lived in a “good neighborhood.” Her house was enormous and beautiful. It was divided among several dozens of people, each allotted a room and access to a floor washroom and a floor kitchen. Her housemates were young and unsuccessful like herself. However, they were different.
They would go to clubs on Fridays and buy cats with their boyfriends. They’d try cooking classes and taking up a new hobby every month or two. Some were in school and others worked long hours in cities far away. She wasn’t jealous, though, because that all sounded much too hectic. She would have no time for herself, she thought.
She looked across her quiet street and saw a light go on. Her neighbors were very successful. The kind of people that have their heads up as if there were strings attached, strings that pulled them higher whenever someone from her home stepped out. They had swimming pools, tennis courts and large libraries where they would sit and work until late into the night.
Every night, at 8:15 PM the fair skinned family of four would flick on the light to their large library. She saw it from where she lay. She thought that the yellow glow of the room looked very comfortable. She imagined that they were all reading their favorite books, that the temperature was just right and that their lives were beautiful. One parent reading the Catcher in the Rye, the other was reading Walden. The young boy was reading about spiders and the young girl was reading about Sherlock Holmes. That’s what she imagined, anyway. She wished that she could write the way these authors wrote and live the lives that these readers lived.
She stopped looking at the family and pulled her knees close to her face. She could see her nose in the inner corner of each eye and just stared at it. She had spent her whole day doing nonsense, and was so tired of doing nonsense. There wasn’t much else left to do, besides nonsense, or staring at her nose, although they were both the same.
She took in a breath. She felt the air in her nose, on the precipice of her throat, unafraid. Felt it dive deep into the dark of her lungs. Felt it run in circles, expanding her stomach, until it was too large to stay any longer and out it went. Into the world again, but now it was different.
In fact, it was entirely different and it knew how to be different. It went through the change and knew how to exist after the point at which it became something new. Another seamless transition in nature. Why, she thought, oh why, could she not be so seamless? After all, she, too, was a part of nature. Why then, was it so hard for her to do the same?
She fell asleep on her floor that night. The air must’ve been scared suddenly, the way that she was: she stopped breathing.
She always wanted to play tennis but was scared that the ball might hit her too hard and she would die. Maybe she would have. She always wanted to fall in love but was scared that the fall might have killed her. Maybe it would have. She always wanted to see the world but thought the journey would be the end of her life. Maybe it would have. She died that night, although, you can’t really call it that.
To die, is to stop living. Inside that home, where she was safe and secure, she didn’t wake up, and it was almost as though, it didn’t even matter. As if nothing was lost because there wasn’t anything there in the first place.