You: Firmly planted on the windowsill. Smooth as a Las Vegas card shark on a Tuesday afternoon.
I pass by your window every day on my way to the library. I love your low maintenance style. I feel like you could fit in at a Walmart as well as an upscale boutique. Nothing gets you down because you are straight up chill. Doesn’t matter if it’s spring or winter, you always light up my day.
Don’t listen to people who say you’re cold. Being sterile and clean is a good thing. You’re not like some kind of clingy fungus. You’re the most independent beauty I’ve ever seen.
I know people call you fake, but you are as real to me as my love for you.
I opened up a book and the words fell out. It was cold and windy and from a storefront reflection, I could see the surprised look on my face. Inky fine print flew from the page. Jumbled. Tossed. It mixed together like salad.
I tried to gather them as fast as I could. Their shape, their letters, their voice was too slippery. Wet rubbery ink littered the streets with sayings. Their sentences bounced against the ears of pedestrians.
“Love I’m sorry lost stopwatch.” I tried to make sense of a stray sentence down the block, but the words had become tangled. Their letters were loose and their punctuation was damned. I squinted, but their meaning was lost.
Leather souls clink like ear drums. They beat on the pavement of a sound mind. Worn out, as if souls could get tangled in the washing machine next to gray stringy lingerie. It’s what’s underneath that counts.
The scent of old copper rinsed from a boiling pot steams heavy. I can smell the stale cheapness in and out of my jackets, jeans and hair. Like smoke tangled in hair spray there is a stickiness that feels trivial traveling with me. Every thought is a penny and means next to nothing.
How did these walls get here?
Why did I paint them red?
Why aren’t there more colors?
Only they aren’t nothing. They’re light in size and over-cooked by vision. Brownish orange cents line my purse until there are pounds worth of thought. There are too many to count. Pennies with purse lint. Pennies with gum. Pennies stuck to receipts of places I can’t remember.
I threw them into the pot of boiling water until I heard them hiss with a sparkling cleanliness. The warm metallic thoughts now stick to the bottom turning to a gold-like substance. Like butter they were almost edible, but eating a vision isn’t like swallowing money. There is no richness in old thoughts, just a rusty flavor that feels more expensive than I remember.
We used to be the tallest buildings in the city. Like the pack of true architecture that we belonged to, we stood together in a crowd. There were times when we wanted to look apart and there were buildings that were destined to stand apart. One of the dark buildings wore a pointed hat one day and soon after, his closest friends wore one too. A building just a block down started to wear a hat, but he looked terribly out of place trying to fit in with the three selected Best Buildings on the street. I stand next to them and I can feel their presence still looming over top of me. I am painted in white with hollow eyes and no curtains. When I look down, the street looks different now that the glass has taken over.
The glass started in the eighties, but once it appeared it never left. Giant structures made almost entirely of mirrors stood taller than we could ever hope to aspire to. They pushed the roads out and demanded that more people fill the streets. While I was never part of the hat wearing club, I had belonged to a part of the city that was elite in its own right. We ruled the popular streets and could watch as our citizens did their shopping. They bought from us what they needed and when they were finished, they settled in, making a home out of our personality and decorating us with their creature comforts.
Now those people have moved. No longer do the women in short trimmed skirts with matching blazers strut our streets in the early mornings. The business men with their brief cases and polished shoes have abandoned us. They have gone to the bigger structures. The glass castles in the sky have topped our hats farther than we could ever see.
“I wish you’d move over,” I said to the square building next to me.
“But then I’d be too close to The Hats,” the beige building said.
“They’re not so great anymore anyway. They can’t tell us where to lean,”
The beige building thought for a moment, daring to lean closer to the buildings with once so much prestige. “I can’t do it,” he finally said. “They will never move.”
I wanted him to like me so I made sure I was the right type. With a designer label and a shade of darkness, I could fit anyone’s style.
I was bought at a thrift shop by a man who was too big. Although he wasn’t as young or as handsome as the man before him, he had a nice smile and strong hands. His arms were longer than mine and when he stepped inside me, he didn’t feel right. Instead, he was constantly rolling up my sleeves to hide my short comings and leaving me hung open so that he would not bulge against my buttons.
When people asked him where he found me, he would say ‘Brooks Brothers’ instead of Threads Unlimited and for awhile I took that as a compliment. No one needed to know about my divorce from the previous man who had owned me once with pride only to drop me for something more trendy.
Our relationship was fraught with the need to fit in verses the need to fit. When he went to work, he promptly shoved me in the closet, not wanting people to know I didn’t size up. If I wasn’t waiting in a hallway somewhere, I was slouched in a chair, quietly wondering when he would come back.
Although we aren’t perfect, I know that this is just business. Come date night, I’m the first he will choose.
I used to wonder whether I felt anything at all. But how can I be wondering if I have no feelings? The transparent blueness of my very self seems tinged with an overly emotional spark. If I were painted black, I’d be dark, but that’s not the case. Instead I’m transparent – you can see right through me. Wires rush in and out, carrying bits of information that I spit out into bigger forms of communication.
On. Off. I am blue. You are green. Yes. No. Ready – go.
I used to wonder whether what I said had meaning, but who needs meaning when you have information?