Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Genesis

When he walked in he knew something was different. The spare furnishings of his tiny apartment were still poorly arranged and dirty. It wasn’t anything that had moved. It wasn’t even the mid-afternoon light that cast itself on the couch, sitting there as the dust played with its rays. The difference, at least as he took a seat next to the light, was that he felt calm. He looked on the tiny living arrangement. He looked on his four tiny boxes, just emptied. He looked at everything around him, in his tiny apartment, his tiny window, his tiny frame resting on his tiny couch; all of it, part of his tiny existence.

He could hear a train go by. An ambulance. Cars. Children. People moving. The white noise of a city existence. His mind was suddenly empty. He had one thought, and he stood up, deliberately, calmly. He walked to the window, opened it. His shadow cast itself on the couch next to where he had just sat; his body print was still faintly visible. The body print embraced the shadow; a ghost holding a shadow. And he looked out the window, smiled down upon the world.

Seven stories high and he smiled. Seven stories he had to climb to make it to his tiny existence. But a tiny existence was better than no existence at all. He smiled because it was so funny. Climb seven floors to be somebody, seven floors and the people below weren’t ants at all, they were still clearly defined, and he could still hear parts of their conversations. But he smiled because he knew that he wouldn’t ever have to go back down to nothing. His tiny existence, being precisely three days old and insufficiently unpacked from its non-existence, was his big bang.

He let the city air in. A late spring breeze, cooling the room. He turned to his sink, he had fixed the faucet two days ago; it had a terrible leak that could have flooded the room. He shook his head as he thought of the incident. The mess was so bad that only the day previous was he able to get the floor dry. He filled a pitcher with water that spluttered in staccato shots from the sink. Slowly he poured water on his new houseplant.

Tomorrow he would get a kitten. A tiny cat for a tiny existence. He smiled. Responsibility, life, a place where he could be the architect. This was him. Adult, finally. It was so silly. Get an apartment, fix a leaky sink, water a plant, and buy a kitten to become an adult. To finally live life his way. He looked around the room. A cloud passed over the sun, dimming everything, momentarily turning the spring breeze into an unwelcome visitor. As the cloud passed, the dust continued its dance to the floor of his apartment. Tiny lights; he smiled, stars in his living room.

He went to the tiny closet. The closet had two shelves. It had three light bulbs and a broom. He took out the light bulb and stood on his ghost. He carefully screwed in the light bulb. It had taken him four days to get a light bulb. Cooking in semi-darkness wasn’t his most ideal situation, but he had real work, and he had to support his tiny existence somehow. He smiled, the light worked, he could see at night, could guide himself through his apartment.

On the seventh day he woke up with a kitten purring on his neck. He looked over, and she was there. He remembered the night before and he smiled. A new person, a new city, a new life. He felt the light on his face, the kitten on his neck, the woman on his arm; he had created his world, and he would never have to go back to nothing.

He smiled, and it was good.