It’s a definable moment. That instant when you glimpse something new in someone, or in their eyes, or breathe in their skin, and melt…
~ ~ ~
Lifted my arms out and tenderly whispered
‘I’ve lost my way somehow’
– We Are Augustines, from “Walkabout” (Augustines, 2014)
There stands a door. It’s a wooden one. It’s basic, white. It’s on the worn and weathered side rather than aged. A scar runs across its face from a tussle or brief. forceful impact. Perhaps a yielded stress fracture from the anxiety of expansion and contraction. Yet, it still stands firm. Seemingly unmovable.
There stands a door. A bolt fastens it closed. A handle fixed simply to the wood. A hole stares where a knob may have once sit. A key is needed for the lock, and ripping the handle off of the door wouldn’t provide a productive entrance. However, the room to be entered can be seen. The only light provided seeps in through dusty panes and blanketed by cobweb curtains. It’s bulky and the rays are slow moving; the overall appeal is opaque, be clouded by dust particles, floating like snowflakes with ecstatic and clueless mentalities. The walls surrounding the empty space are brick, and the outside walls are supported by the dry and feeble vines, clinging to the wall with every ounce of life left, lingering.
Inside the opposite wall is very much blank, but with quick thinking–perhaps with an outline of chalk–doors can be created. With a bit of imagination knobbed portals stand pale-faced within the dark. Not one door, but perhaps–no, definitely–two doors stand with an unspoken option. There are no signs, no arrows, no writing, no indication of fate, no peephole, no…
…choice but the one to be decided. Which door–that does not have to be asked when it’s obviously implied. Should one lead to fate as one leads to death. Should one lead to a basement as the other leads to a second floor or third or attic or roof. Should one lead to a clearing as another leads to a forest. Should either lead to more doors? It wouldn’t be one–that task would have already been passed. Perhaps two, an obvious and simple number whose reappearance would cause one’s vision to blur, endurance to dizzy, mind to overwork, and head to spin and neck to snap. Three doors would generate confidence in a pattern, which would generate frustration instead of wonderment. The latter would make the situation more interesting where four would offer an easy out, a pass or allowance for giving up. Five doors would signify Hell, generating spontaneous madness…
…choice but to choose, and that would be the fun of it. The only worry would be whether or not the door, whichever one chosen, would lock behind you. If there is nothing to prop the door open, should the door swing heavily shut and shatter such a wedge.
At least there are knobs on the doors.
Should peering through the hole create such wonder, depending on feeling moved, placing a hand–a flat palm–upon the door would open such a path. With surprise flowing through mind, entering the room with hesitation is the next decision. Taking the first step would create an echo of the shuffle. The door wouldn’t slam shut behind; it sways a little with the wind. It’s shut by decision.
Standing in front of two doors, a momentary contemplation and decision to enter one results in finding a closet, a small dark room with no light or furnishing. The game changer, as it could be deemed, results in frustration and relief mixed and molded as one. The affect of the duplicity is almost nauseating after the warming and working up of having to make a decision.
Nothing jumps out from the darkness or shadows. No skeletons. No tentacles. No gremlins. Just silence.
Confident strides are taken the second door, which is opened hastily. To a room full of people creating such commotion that it suffocates the background music provided by a band nestled tightly in the far corner.
The room is full of men, women, children, and animals. A couple of stray dogs run by. There are common folk, poorly dressed and over dressed, completely naked or covered completely by a cloak with a hood, the silent folks are contradicted by the yelling folk, bursts of fire and the sounds of spilling water. Salesmen with blacked out eyes tempt and discourage the tactics from those with whited-out eyes. However, the cordial and uncomprehending folk banish the two from ripping off your arms by bringing you in for a hug and securing an arm around the shoulder; they guide you through the dismay and hellish atmosphere. With sudden slam of trap doors and a burst of fire from the interior sconces, the cordial folk exit the room.
As maneuvering toward the other side of the room is a task in itself, a solitary door is noticed; the relief is as reassuring as the breaking of a flu’s fever. Two women came from the sides, grabbing hands as finger traps. As Odysseus overcame the temptation of Sirens, flickering forked tongues and sharpened teeth. By stepping forward and to the exit, an unequal resistance is provided by the duo’s pulling. The ugliness brought to life by the two against each other’s coaxing and efforts is subdued by thoughts of a Penelope, the brought-to-life image, who steps in the path.
What is it about her eyes that captivate? The familiarity of them is perplexing. There is no overwhelming aura as T.J. Eckleburg imposes, but the sense of ease is tiredness and falling into a bed covered with down pillows and blankets. The corneas are a pools to dive into, to wade and float around in. Her irises are bottomless pools who mouths change gape with each sensation. The warmth of her hands have yet to be touched, her lips to be grazed. However, as Sirens snarl and shiver back into the onset of darkness now beginning to infiltrate and cloud the room, the boisterous now quiet with pain, the path is clear as she guides to the next door.
It’s a closet, which is a great idea for a hiding spot with her hugging onto. A strand strikes your face and you reach to pull upon it. The light turns on to show you’re in an open field. The sun is stretching beyond the horizon.