Oct 09
Yellow Sweater's picture

Paris and Paraguay

My bed was a nest of rag blankets and hand sewn pillows. My walls were plastered with old band posters and vague sketches of my dreams. I didn’t have any shelves, but I amassed books. More than I could ever read. They collected in corners and piled up on my desk. There was hardly any room to write, but plenty to write about.

I filled my attic with plants. It was nice to watch them grow; the expansion of the innocent is a lovely thing. Thin sunlight poured in from the single window. But it was enough; my plants thrived.

It took years of sheltering, of sequestering, but I finally finished my book. It was a meandering tale. The characters found their way to Paris, to Paraguay. I hoped it was literary. An epic, yet intimate saga, spanning generations and continents. I pictured New York Times reviews, high school essays, and the Nobel Prize. Pretension, Paris and Paraguay.  

Every day: I watered my plants, I typed three hundred words, and I held my body together with sticky tape. Mustering the last bit of myself, I would pull the blankets over my head and shut out the light. 

One Wednesday, after my three hundred words, I dragged myself to the window. I pressed my hand against the glass. It was cold. The frost had etched dull intricacies around its edges. The city beyond was hard and metallic. Slowly, I let loose a breath. I could feel its heat. I could feel the wet, wonderful life of it. That evening, under my rag blankets, my aching body was a little more beautiful.