From a compilation of short stories entitled 'The Long Road'
I woke slowly that morning. The light that filled the room was too bright and overwhelming. It was the kind of light that produced a photo negative behind my eyelids, making it nearly as painful to close my eyes than to keep them open. I longed to fall back asleep but I knew, as my heart seemed to quicken itself like a clock coming to life after being wound, I couldn’t manage to slip back into sleep. I lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling, noticing the way light and shadow danced with each other but thinking about something else entirely. I sternly lectured myself that I would not allow anyone or anything to mold the feeling of the day, but that today, at least only for today, I’d manifest the still-sleeping strength within me to overcome whatever the day may hold. Is this what we all say to ourselves upon waking? Do we all try and convince ourselves that we’re courageous enough to face the day? Upon asking myself these questions a smile crept over my lips – I’d never get an answer to that question because I had not the drive nor interest to ask. And if I had, I wouldn’t trust the answer anyway. All at once I was chilled by a draft from the window and instead of pulling the blankets over my head, I jumped up and put on a sweater and a pair of blue swampers that were sitting beside my desk. Had anyone seen me at that exact moment they would certainly think me ill or lacking sound mind. There was absolutely no reason to wear galoshes with my night clothes. I opened the door leading into a short hallway that separated me from all that was living in the house. I was begrudgingly met with colors and sounds altogether different from those in my room. I briskly paced to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. Retreating once again to my room I sat at my writing desk. I set my coffee cup on my desk and immediately thought of those people who talk about their morning coffee as though it were some magical elixir - one that awoke within them an enthusiastic vigor to face the day. I only drank it to warm my bones and swallow my medication.
Listening to someone read Poe somewhere in the background, I realized I was a paradox within myself: I am drawn to the heat of the sun, the rolling salt of the sea, and yet I long to live in the absence of color, in the shadows of someplace familiar but altogether hidden. It is only within this type of atmosphere that I search for a muse.
Whilst imagining the beautiful coastline of a city stuck in a time long-since passed, I also thought of taking something dark with me there – something black. The hypocrisy that is my consciousness had once again given way to longings of better times. Times when the sun sat high in the sky and the warmth allowed me to venture wherever I pleased without giving my explorations a single thought. I didn’t need a winter coat, the only wet ground upon which to step would be the salty beach freshly kissed by the warm Caribbean. Just as I closed my eyes and traveled someplace far from home, the bell rang not once but three times, though I was expecting no company. Forced to leave the sanctuary of my writing room, I crept toward the front door, ever so slightly peering out of the peep hole to see who had rung.
I knew I’d imagined it.
-Excerpt from 'Writing Room'
'The Long Road - A Collection of Short Stories'
by Aspen Sorensen
Copyright © 2016 WastedInk All Rights Reserved.