Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eleven Stories Above.

If you sit quietly, you can hear it. The breathing. In and out. In and out.

The walls sigh with each breath, letting out memories into the air like dust particles. In this place, the dust coats each surface. You can draw patterns in the cloudy gray; hearts, stars, smilie faces. They take shape in the matter. 

Murky shadows play on walls, hiding in reflections and peeking out behind light bulbs. I strain to hear sounds, to hear creaking boards or gusts of wind under doors. But the silence is immense. Nothing here is old. Nothing here as history.

It's strange to think how high up I am. Stacked on top of other people, sleeping, reading, stretching, all below me. And more above, too. Each life is unaffected by the next. They travel up and down in the elevator, pretending that no one is standing with them. That no one else lives on their floor. Steps quicken, hoping to leave the stranger behind them. Too afraid to make a connection, they lock the world out. They lock the building out. Pretending it's only them, suspended 11 stories above the city, if by magic.

What they forget is that the buildings are so close, they whisper secrets to each other. The buildings see everything. They see into and around and above and below. Giants. Their hundreds of eyes looking out, some aware and awake, others sleeping and still. They're so close, a person in one building can see straight into another. 

Light fixtures with silver shades cast light out over rows and rows of desks. One wall, lined with notice boards, leads into another room, dark in the late hour. The blinds are at such an angle, the window looks like a page from a pop-up book. Oh, the secret these eyes must see.

Seeing a flash draws me to the window. The sky is so bright, like someone turned the lights on the world. Just for a moment. So bright. The cloud above and stirring, constantly moving above the tower, which has changed to a solid blue. The glass is freckled with water, it's raining. I pull the curtains, joining the millions who believe I am alone in this world.

Another great flash brings me back to the window. Yanking the heavy cloth, I search the sky for the twisting ray of light, retreating back into it's dark cloud. I search for the origin of light, for Zeus. Just as quickly as it appears, it vanishes. One blink reveals that I am mistaken, I am not looking out on the sky. I am not eleven stories above the city, I am not settling into the night. I pull open the curtains and step out. 

To be continued...

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