Saturday, December 8, 2007

How To Get Out Again

The only way Marley sees the world is through the strips of light she draws. How many times has she gone to the window and dragged her finger down the glass? The fog and layers of dirt vanish under her finger, leaving lines where the pores in her skin absorbed the sweat and grime. London's countryside peeps through the patterns on the glass, the blotted sun bring little light to her dark bedroom.

She wishes she could be in India, eating curry under a sky that would welcome her, because it always does when she vacations to a foreign country. The clouds there are definitely brighter than the ones here, Marley concludes as she presses her eye to the window. She wishes she could squeeze herself into the outside and feel the fresh, cold air. She would welcome a breeze between her legs that would not unpleasantly invade the insides of her thighs, but the toxic and gray blanket hangs ever low and heavy above the empty fields.

She returns to her reading. She licks the dirt from her finger and turns to the dog-eared page in the travel guide she bought so many years ago. As the book opens, the pages part. Sudden streams of color beam from the open-faced whiteness of the paper. She sees her hands and the faint texture of gray carpet through the opaque flood of rainbow exploding from the gaping book. The set of burning sun and blue sky soon fills the room. She stands and breathes in the transformation, basking in the artificial warmth of the hologram. She turns her face towards the magnificent blueness. The fine hairs on her neck and arm stand with the rising beds of perspiration. She lies down, burying her feet, hands and face into the gentle sand. Her hair weaves through the grains; dark threads of silk against the fine particles.

She slams the book closed, not yet sure she wants to disappear like the rest. As the pages fluter shut, the warm landscape is sucked, as if by a vacuum, back into the binding.

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