Taking a different point of view in order to discover yourself
|I have lived in the same place for over fifty years. I have seen many things change, from the building surrounding us to those who walk past us. They have different colors now, where in the beginning there was only white. Where what they had on only straight lines now have turned delicate, more feminine. Up on the third shelf however, the view had always been the same; others just like me fill rows upon rows. The one to my right smells of cigarettes and cheap wine, its bumpy skin chaffing against my side. Dust has begun to settle on its pages, an unfortunate event when others become uninterested in what you have to say. To my left, a slippery texture that I recognize as a new person. Its jacket is shiny and unmarked, glowing in anticipation. I can barely remember when I first came to my spot on the wall. I call this place home, but I am constantly going on vacations, sometimes whether I like it or not. When these moments come—the feeling of a strong grasp, the whooshing of going through the air, and new scenery—I get to experience life outside my home.
My first vacation came when my jacket was also crisp and new. I was terrified of the experience I have come to relish now. After being jostled and tossed around, I found myself in a new environment. I was flat on a large object, unlike my upright position on my cold metal abode. I was ripped open with such force, and heard crackling coming from my innards. My spine bent in such extreme that I swore I could feel my front and back nearly together. I was being touched, stroked, and turned by long white spindles that I have since learned from others to call fingers. I was on this first vacation for many days and was turned until I finally rested on my face, any sense of mystery about myself was completely destroyed. Whatever had just turned me inside out, staring at my body with such concentration, suddenly knew everything about me. I felt used and abandoned, especially when closed and returned to my original position.
Many vacations have taken place since and I have become more than what I was. I have had my jacket torn from wear and tear. My spine is permanently creased so that I am more open to others now. I have learned that most dark liquids are hot and clear liquids are cold, that they stain and wrinkle respectively. I have become dirty, tired, old, and out dated. But the changes do not occur on just on the outside. My neighbors have changed, sometimes rapidly and sometimes over time. What they bring to me are unimaginable life tales. Each had been on vacations to places where there are vast amounts of deep blue. To where their sheets shiver and frost over. They had something pressed hard against their pages and have felt something left behind by those who look at them; gentle strokes that twirled and danced on their faces.
One day, I was chosen by a soft touch and was gracefully placed on a hard object close to my home. I was opened, the crackling sounds only faint echoes and my spine barely complained. I looked up and noticed something in the distance. They were the same things I had seen each time I was opened. They were large, round in shape. Black lines spread out like long and skinny branches. Stark whiteness surrounds a pool of green with a black vortex in the middle. The pools seem to shift side to side, flowing across an invisible line. They seemed intensely focused, trying to find something within my body. However, while these pools looked deep within me, I looked deep within them. They seemed to fluctuate with what they were conveying, never resting on one in particular. Was it sadness, a longing, or perhaps desperation? The mixed emotions confused me, for I had never seen my body evoke such a reaction. Something hit my face. The clear liquid that I had felt many times before had changed somehow. They felt like small drops, splashing sporadically on different areas of my face. They tasted salty, different from the other fluids that I had come in contact with. What was happening here? What am I doing to make you so sad? I felt lost at that moment, as hopeless as I was sure you felt. We would help each other out though, you and I. With your objects and my body, we would better understand everything.
Fifty years have come and gone. I have been seen by many “eyes”, a term I coined myself---blue, green, brown, hazel---stained by juice and tears, opened by many fingers. From that one particular vacation, I had been driven to find out what I truly am. How could I have affected those two floating items without doing anything but being myself? I had asked my neighbors, nudged them into telling me who I was. They only described my outside, things that I knew I would have used to tell them about themselves as well. I could never know myself beyond the shelf. Who am I?