elementary.

May 24, 2012

1. it’s like standing on a mosaic, a giant mosaic that spreads as far as the eye can see into the distance. greens and lapis lazuli blues and golds and reds like fire in the light. each tile’s big enough to put a foot on.

 

2. remember when you were little and you’d walk a shopping mall or a pavement and the black lines would be safe and the red lines would be lava, ready to lick you up as your shoes bubbled and the soles of your feet blackened and curled? it’s like that here. there’s void underneath the tiles. step right. walk careful.

 

3. and then they take away the green tiles. the jade-coloured ones, they fade from sight and you can see
nothing at all through the holes, emptiness like a wound. the sheer drop into space and darkness and the stomach-sick vertigo of it, standing on nothing, dropping endlessly. But it’s a small gap and that’s okay, that’s okay for now. there are lots of other green tiles to stand on anyway. it’s only the jade ones that have left gaping smiles in the mosaic.

 

4. and then they take away the ambers. and you’re trotting forward through the light when an amber tile vanishes beneath your foot and you go through, just for a second, lurching drunkenly into the gap and you flail, wail, counterbalance-balance-counterbalancespin

 

5. and back on the blue which is safe. Blue is always safe. You’ve lost a shoe. That’s okay. You can pick up another one.

 

6. and then they vanish the blues, the ones that looked like clouds after dark. and then the reds fade like a bruise, the reds that were almost more orange than red, and then the lemon-yellows, and a handful of different greens, and suddenly you’re hopscotching from tile to tile over a widening pattern of holes that keep appearing underneath your socked feet. little voids everywhere, simply everywhere. and the tiles- keep- vanishing-

 

7. mostly when you least expect it, although so many have gone by now you should have more foresight than this. and now you’re running, putting your feet wrong everywhereallthetime as you stumbletrip and sometimes you fall in, cling and scream, pull yourself back up and run faster before everything, absolutely everything goes. But the landscape is all open mouths, a patchwork of gaptoothed smiles far as your eye can gather, and every glossy tile remaining winks up at you like it’s keeping a secret. You don’t know this secret. You don’t even have shoes. You may not ever have shoes again. They may have ceased to exist by the time you reach the end of. if you ever reach the end of. if  there is an end. of.

 

8. the void yawns, careless and inviting, reaching through each hole you miss. it sucks the colours from the ground. you’re slipping off the tiles. everything’s going monochrome and the landscape spreads, reaches, stretches- on- forever-

 

9. this is what my job is like.

 

10. this is why I don’t want it to be my job anymore.

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