Today I went out to the tracks. I waited for a while, but no door ever appeared. Sometimes a train would come clanking down the tracks. I did not try to go through the trains, though. I don’t think that would have ended well.
These doors that stalk you; what happens when you go through them? How do you know when to go through them and when not to? Do you have a choice?
I am sorry about the hollowing out. You may be alone where you are, but you are not alone in being hollowed. I hope that helps.
I still don’t know if it matters, being watched or not. There are people watching me. I am watching them. We are all still alone.
I have wanted to not be. Very much.
I suppose that the cardboard answer to that is that there are the people who watch you. They would be sad if the space that you bend around yourself smoothed out. They like the dent you make in the surface of reality.
Or at least that’s what the cardboard people say. I think that really they want you to go away and stop asking questions, so they can be alone inside themselves again.
I don’t think I should buy curtains or move the desk. Hiding from the sun is not a workable solution.
I am out in it today. Walking around the city. Watching people. I am not entirely sure if they’re real, and if their watching matters. But perhaps mine does.
Maybe your doors are stalking you because they want to be seen. Maybe my sun wants someone to feel it and to know that it is there.
The times when I have wanted to not be, I felt alone in a vast white emptiness.
What color is your emptiness? I think mine changes. Sometimes it’s white, sometimes it’s black, sometimes it’s green. Once it was a sort of purpleblackred, with hints of turquoise.
But maybe we are here to observe the emptiness and give it color, to press ourselves down upon it and make it real.
I don’t trust the other humans to make anything real. Maybe where you are, with the doors and the house that is keeping you, you are cardboard. I don’t think so, but I don’t know for sure. Even if you are on a cereal box, you sound very real to me.
Here, though, in this city with its hungry sun, I am sure that it is the other humans who are cardboard. They are thin and blurry, and I don’t think they have ever tasted caramel.
You are right to not trust the dictionary. Words should not be pinned down and displayed as if they are dead butterflies. They are tools used to describe reality, and reality is fluid and always changing.
I don’t know if humans feed on truth. I think they like to watch the suffering of helpless things. They pin the butterfly down and feed on its pain, and its truth is just collateral damage.
I once had a garden. It wasn’t blank.
What do you think would happen if you tried to go through the encyclopedia when it displays the languages that you aren’t familiar with? Could you do that? I think a book would count as a door. But perhaps not. You have already observed that I do not understand your doors very well.
I also remember the process of dying. Not as clearly as you do. There are blank spots. I don’t think I was there for the part between the smoke and the hospital bed. I did not have any magazines to leaf through. Also I was me before, and I am still me now. I survived in the end, and I only have the one life, as far as I know.
I am sure that someone is looking after your lizards.
I think I would have liked you in your previous life. Maybe. If you had a place where you could bury things, then I doubt you were like the people here. I can see through these people, all the way to the bricks of the buildings behind them. They are not hiding anything within themselves. So I can assure you that they do not have any sort of caramel center.
Sarah is real. Sarah has a caramel center.
I have felt the sun today. Its teethlight nibbled on my skin, and I noticed that it was there and that it was real. I have done what it requires of me. I think I will go home now.
Sarah does not leave her dishes on top of the refrigerator. She does not leave them anywhere. She washes them as soon as they’re used, dries them, and puts them away carefully. Everything must be in its place. She is very particular about her kitchen.
She wanted this apartment specifically for its kitchen. Its previous occupant, the man who watches me from his plaque on the wall, invented a dish known as
pufferfish nigiri here. He also died here. The two events are related.
I do not think she means to repeat his mistakes.
She’s brewing coffee. Does your house have coffee? I’ve always liked the smell. The taste is far too bitter, but the smell is nice. It reminds me of hotel rooms with stiff curtains and large radiators and the sound of car engines turning over and a sun that is still too groggy to be very hungry yet.
We should go on a trip soon.
Since you don’t have anyone there to talk to, do you talk to yourself?
I do have someone here. I just never know what to say to her.
I want to say things to her. I just don’t know what will not make her upset. If I say what I am thinking, she will look at me with more pressure than I can bear.
Oh, yes. That’s right. You need recipes.
I ask her, “What would you make for dinner if all you had was a ginger root, two yams, brown mustard, marshmallows, possibly poisonous mushrooms, and instant ramen cups?”
She’s looking at her coffee.
While I am waiting for an answer, I will say that I am glad the gallon of orange juice is empty. Orange juice is dangerous.
What happened to the microwave dinners? Did someone else eat them? Maybe someone else was in the house before you.
They probably drank the orange juice. That would explain why they aren’t there anymore.
She looks up from her coffee. Her eyes are tired, and it may have been better to start the conversation by asking her how her day at work went.
She says, “I think I would eat the marshmallows and cry. Why do you want to know?”
I tell her, “For a friend,” and she says, “A friend? Really?” and she raises her eyebrow and she puts her coffee mug down and I think that maybe we are here to press ourselves down on reality and make it mean.
I may be stuck on a tripline. I may be wrapped up in photons, waiting for the sun to drain me.
But Sarah is here with me in the web.
I am the only one to blame for any inconveniences I may have.
I don’t know if humans can go on living without anyone to live for. I wouldn’t want to find out.
If a door does come for me, I hope it takes Sarah too.
Perhaps the sun’s fire can be bottled. I don’t know. I don’t know if there is a way to extract the hunger either. Even if all it wants is to be felt and noticed and named real, it is giant and I am small and my naming alone may not be enough.
I hope you figure out what it is you need to do.
As for me, tonight, I am going to release endorphins.