Boy sees a painting come to life in class. Writer's Cramp entry 1/21/11. 714 Words.
|Mr. Haskell's voice was putting him to sleep again. Dan was concentrating hard on the little man pacing in front of him but despite his best efforts his eyes continued to droop.
"So, it is important to note that Durkheim is not saying that impoverished countries are immoral but rather..." The voice droned on, always starting strong and trailing softly at the ends. Alright, Dan thought, Durkheim, what is he saying about Durkheim? He kept repeating the name in his head trying to focus but instead his eyes wandered back to the painting that hung on the wall behind Mr. Haskell and was only partially blocked by top of his oily head.
The painting seemed out of place in a classroom setting because it was so bright and indescribable. Crazy streaks of purple and indigo swirled in the background while in the foreground greens and oranges made weird bubbling patterns. Dan was used to staring at this painting when he could not concentrate on social theory. For some reason it always grabbed his attention. Perhaps it was simply the bright colors, but more than that it seemed to be constantly moving. Everyday and every minute it appeared slightly different.
"Morality in and of itself is not about right and wrong but according to Durkheim morality is..." Dan leaned forward a bit in his desk to focus on a part of the painting he had not noticed before. It appeared as if the orange and green bubbles could be outlining some distinct shape. The longer he looked the more clear it became until he was amazed he had never seen it before. A face was clearly visible in the center of the painting. It was a woman's face, an extraordinarily beautiful woman from what he could tell. Her eyes seemed to twinkle somehow and her lips were turned up into a smile, at least for a moment, and then they opened to speak.
Dan jumped in his desk so quickly he nearly tipped it over. "Mr. Morris, is there a problem?" Dan shook his head and tried to ignore the fire burning at the tips of his ears.
"Well then, like I was saying even in a community of saints society would create crime by..." Dan carefully looked back at the painting, his face still red with embarrassment. He could still see the woman and now she appeared to be smiling humorously. Thanks a lot, Dan thought, then frowned because he knew that thinking thoughts towards a painting was crazy. Her mouth began to open again and this time Dan stayed frozen in place waiting to find out what she would say. He glanced around quickly at the other students but all of them had their eyes fixed on Mr. Haskell. If she could speak then at least the whole class would be in on the talking painting, and he would know he was not crazy.
As her lips parted, she did not speak but rather blew softly into the classroom. Little flecks of orange, green, indigo and purple danced lightly around the room. Dan watched as they swirled around the heads of the other students and covered the white board where Mr. Haskell was writing. He looked in amazement at the faces of the students as they stared like zombies at the white board and their eyes roamed back and forth following Mr. Haskell's little body across the room. A few of them wiped at their faces or scratched at their hair but all of their faces remained blank and their eyes empty.
"Society" Mr. Haskell was saying "Is the point of the division of labor, our uniqueness brings us together and we are kept together by our conformity to the collective conscience." Dan suddenly felt a sense of urgency, a need to awake the students to the flecks of color flying all around them. He almost stood up and shouted and screamed, but he stopped short when he realized the flecks of color had all returned to the painting and the face he had seen was now gone. All that remained was the swirling purple and indigo and the orange and green bubbles. He looked once more at the faces of his peers, stood up, and walked out of the room.