Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Piece Of Paper

She looked out the window and saw a small scrap of paper blowing in the wind. It was a small yellow post-it note and the wind pushed it to the fence where it stayed tangled in the bunches of wild mustard plants and yellowed bits of grass that clung to the edges of the yard. A white moth-like butterfly flew over the wooden fence and disappeared into the eucalyptus grove that covered the hillside below. She stared at it, at the little trail of darting white that had faded into green and silver. Her house was warm, and because of the heat inside, she indulged in wearing only purple panties, that had lace along the edges, and a striped purple T-shirt. Her legs were bare except for the pink slippers keeping the bottom of her feet warm. She wanted to go outside and get the little bit of paper. She wondered what it said, where it had come from, who had dropped it. Would she find her own writing on the yellow paper? She wanted to go outside, but, although the sun was out, she could see by the rustling eucalyptus that it was windy, and wind, at least here at this elevation and so close to the sea, meant chill. She was not anxious to let the wind brush past her and strip from her the warmth she had accumulated over a night of sleeping under thick blankets and warmed by space heaters in every room. But what was on that paper? How come she didn’t just look right past it the moment she saw it? How come it didn’t just fade into the other images that she took in and let wash over her without a second thought? Was there something different about this piece of paper or was she just getting fixated on something, finding meaning or hidden purpose when there was nothing there. Maybe there would be nothing on it. But why couldn’t she just stop and go back to her computer and start writing? What kept her standing here at the window, so close to the cold wind that managed to find its way in despite the glass barrier? She thought about all the things she had lost over the years. The small chunk of Tibetan turquoise stolen from her bathroom. Her stacks of vinyl records. Her purple and white batik shirt that just went missing one day, the blue v-neck T-shirt that Suki had given to her before her parents sent her to a rehab facility in the mountains. Could this piece of paper be one of those things, a precious bit of her or someone else, something that was about to drift off into the bushes any moment, only it had stopped here for a brief second, waiting by the fence and held close by the mustard stalks.
Act now! This is the chance. Move and grab the curiosity in front of you. Act now, or it will disappear forever and you will always wonder, you will always stand by the window and wonder about that thing which called to you and you did not respond.

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