Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Open Door

I wrote this piece for a writing competition with the theme "The Open Door". I didn't win but thought about sharing this with you for my O day :)

He drummed his fingers on the floor of his prison cell, then sighed. That left him
exhausted. His fingerprints looked like deep excavations through the thick layer of dust he was on. The hot air he exhaled stood still by his lips, hesitating to mingle with the coldness of the room. How long had he been in here, with his head drooped down? He couldn't for the life of him remember. It didn't matter anyway. Time had ceased to be important: minutes and hours and days and years swirled around in his fuzzy head like misty silhouettes indistinct from each other. Desperation- This is what it did to him.

You are his twin, not his mirror-image. Look into this mirror I'm holding up for you now. You see? Your cloned features are crammed with so much more. I can almost see vision overflowing from your eyes. If I could, it would be red. The color of energy. Look at the caterpillar on the window-sill and see the vibrant butterfly inside it, waiting patiently till the time comes when it can flaunt its beauty.

He settled over there pathetically. Perched on the prison floor that he had become a part of. If the room was capable of holding more gloominess, he would be feeding it some. But it had saturated. The accumulation of a billion dark thoughts. The thoughts were cranky teenagers, sulking at him for bringing them into a place they couldn't figure out.

Don't let that distract you though. Can you smell the stench of fertilizer outside the room?  You're not one to let that get to you, right? I can see how you're thinking about the substitution that will soon occur. When the manure will produce fragrant flowers, their delicate scent invading the world. Can you detect the subtle whiff now? If it had a color, it would be yellow. A bright, light, sunshine-y color.

He lost all feelings of being and belonging. Numbness shrouded him. His body parts cried out loud for a change in their position. His jugular vein throbbed in pain, his neck having forgotten its default position. Yet he felt none of this. If they could speak, they would complain to him of their anguish, plead him to put them to mercy. His lifeless eyes moved over his body, the separate entity, with an objective look that saw nothing.

Ignore that. Look at your intact self. You're a machine with a million friendly parts, working in harmony. Do you sense how the blood cells are thanking your heart for its pumping and your veins and arteries for the amazing ride? You see how they look behind at the lungs and wave? When meal-time arrives, you will smile at the little food, cold on your plate, thinking of all the fun activities going on inside you. Green is the color of the world in you- the color of well-being.

He lived on in his self-pity. Since he couldn't add more dismal thinking to the atmosphere, the thoughts got trapped inside, gradually filling him, entering his blood and oxygen, until Hopelessness became him. From the corner of his eyes, all he could see was murkiness. 'A waste of space', he told himself, another miserable thought to add to the darkness. The four walls of the room loomed over him, gray. They were approaching- shutting in on him, making him feel even more confined, until he was suffocated. He finally moved- to wrap his arms around his knees and rest his head on them. Gave up on life with only death to look forward to.

If I could see the aura around you, it would be purple. The color of nobility. Hear that steady dripping on the ceiling? The one that was designed to torture you? It could be anything you want it to be. I can practically hear the tune you're turning it into in your mind. A beautiful melodious song that can soothe the edgiest of people. Blue is your composition's color- the color of trust and tranquility.

Funny how a pair of twins in the same room can be living in parallel worlds. Don't mind the prison bars, you have butterflies, perfumed flowers, music and yourself to accompany you. Soon your beautiful thoughts will give rise to a new beginning. Do you see how the door opens before your eyes? I see that the fruits of your optimism have left you dumbfounded. Don't be. You underestimate the power of you. As you step out into your new world and celebrate yourself, don't look behind you. Too bad Hopelessness is too busy looking down to notice The Open Door before him.


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