Monday, September 17, 2012

into the storm

I hunckered my gym duffle bag over my shoulders, probably looking like an idiot with my backpack and purse dangling from my tottering body. I let the doors close on me before I pressed a button. I saw her face staring blankly at me for one last second. Once shut I pressed the lobby button. I felt myself floating downwards at a rapid smooth pace.

Everything I had brought to work in four years was crammed onto my body. There had been a lot of things I left there that I probably shouldn't have, but I just felt so awkward with them watching me clean out my desk drawers that I rushed through it. Whilst I beavered away at my desk drawers, she had her arms folded across her chest, staring straight at me. My eyes stayed on the floor, not making eye contact.

"Are you ready?" She asked.
"Oh," I said. "R-right now?"
"So no going away cake for me then?"

She didn't smile.

The elevator walls squeezed inwards, applying pressure to the air vibrating around my body. The wood panels leaned in and the ceiling pressed down, heaving heavily under some dark weight on the top of the lift. Perhaps there had been a tubby monster on top. I don't know how I was able to feel the air squeezed in, wrapping hot sticky fingers around my neck, pursing dull dentisty music into my throbbing eardrums. The doors opened and I laughed out loud manically.

The lobby of my building felt unfamiliar even after four years of passing through it multiple times per day. The bright fluorescence lights shone fuzzily as if through a filter. Everything felt softer, sleepier. The whole meeting had taken five minutes and now it was done and I was down in the lobby. Lawyers and clients I knew rushed through the gold trimmed shining hallways. They barked into their cell phones and clacked their heals on the ground. The sound resonated through a muter in my mind. Everyone looked strange and slightly different than usual, as if they were all wearing masks that had been custom designed to look similar to their faces. I didn't say hi to anyone. Hallways and shops in the building seemed unrecognizable. I felt too lost and confused to be scared.

Outside was a frothing storm of tiny blue flowers. The winds lashed against the front doors of my building. The strong winds tore the petals from the trees outside down, shook them from their home, and hurtled them angrily against the clear pane of our front doors.

Balanced uneasily under pounds of luggage and kilograms of confusion, I opened the door. A gust of sharp breeze whisked in, and several stuffy people turned to look at me. Dozens of dime sized turqoise and blue flowers intermingled with pinkie sized perfectly oval dark green leaves. The fluttering spun around my head, causing me to sneeze. I stepped out and let the door close behind me.

I turned to the left and looked down an empty long winding ally. I didn't have anywhere to be. By which I do not mean I didn't have any plans or arrangements for today. I'm not saying I have a loosely booked week or some free nap time. I'm saying I didn't have any plans for my lifetime. I didn't have any reason to go in any direction because I had no where to go. I didn't have anywhere to be, physically, ever.

I let my heavy duffle bag and backpack fall from my shoulders onto the empty dirty side walk. I wouldn't need those things anymore. I didn't need anything. I lifted my arms up above my head, reaching my hands to the clouds. I closed my eyes and tilted my head back. I felt my hair swing loose from the braid, aided by the tumultrous breeze, and smack the back of my shoulders. My hair flew into my face and I laughed again. I careened my fingers, as if wiggling them in a putty. The violent storm lifted me up by my skirt, which quickly balooned into a parachute, and tugged me upwards.

I didn't scream as I soared up above the ground. I didn't even feel fear as I turned upside down and the blood rushed to my head. If I had no where to be on the earth, who's to say being up here in the sky was any worse or better? I tumbled through gales and clouds, giggling sadly in the freezing mist.

1 comment:

  1. I like the imagery here. Great short story!