Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wouldn't it be funny to die?

At least, that's what I thought. Hell, I'd think anything but being here. So I get up off the cold and dirty gym floor. I've got ten minutes, and still, nothing to do. A hall to walk down, water to drink, but nothing to do.

"What are you lookin' at?" she smirks. I crack a smile.

"I was just watching."


Racing down the spiral stair case I trip a bit, winding myself around the railing, holding on for some reason. For dear life? I don't know. Her voice rings in my head. What are you lookin' at? I could have answered a thousand different ways. But I choose the passive way, just like every other time. I just, watch. Breathing, heaving from the shock of the stumble, I search for my balance. I turn the corner and I am alone.

I find another dirty and dark corner to sit. Eight minutes left.

A gorilla walks by me. He doesn't really notice me, because it's dark. Bad vision. He wears his practice uniform as his pride leads his steps. The footsteps echo back and forth on the cold cement walls that hug my body, cradling me like a child. He stops and glances over his right shoulder, and I catch my breath. I try to curl up in to myself and be as still and quiet as I can so I won't be caught. His shoulders shrug and his arms fall to his sides. He keeps walking and I am safe.

I stretch my legs to the light in front of me. Only five more minutes remain.

Around the corner, the clinking of change falling in to a vending machine silences my sigh. The rustle of weight being shifted pushes the air in to new waves that force my legs back in to the dark corner. I can hear the machine softly whirring as buttons are chosen, purring in delight. The mystery vendee chose chips, and the air-pocketed bag pads the fall from a top shelf as the purchase thuds on the floor. The door creaks open and the hand shuffles for it's prize. Victory, and the swinging of the door as it plummets after the exiting hand. Heels click the pavement in a frantic passion, the sin of the victory chasing after the slender woman that brushes past me. She looks down, throws the 80 cent trophy in her purse, and presses forward. I exhale.

Three minutes left. Should I stretch?

I peer around the corner. Footsteps ring above me. Feet shuffle in a social dance. I crouch. What the hell am I doing here? A door falls shut, and I look to it. It lies at the other end of the hall and light streams through the bullet-proof glass. The silence of my surroundings engulfs me and I struggle to catch my breath. I fall against the familiar cold wall behind me, and I stare at the door.

And then I'm running. To I don't know where. And I'm out the door and in the sunlight and it caresses my skin like the lover I never knew I had. And I run, faster and faster, brushing past trees and flowers and fences. I can't stop my feet from tumbling over one another and I stretch my arms out to the sky, waiting for the rain to fall. And it does. And I am washed clean in it.

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