reading time: 3 minutes
Written By: Travis Knight
Smog-tinted sunshine crawls through the broken blinds yet again; carefully making sure not to disturb the slumbering eggs that reside in a fern I have grown quite fond of—a fern I bought out of drunken fallacy not too long ago, and a dangling plant that now silhouettes in the teetering blinds. Millions of happy souls, or perhaps not—who am I to distinguish? —stomping their foot pedals, sputtering, coughing out imbalance through a crooked muffler, and splicing heat into the sun’s fingers, tickling the eggs—just a few days ago merely one, but now four white orbs—life beating inside, small mouths chirping in the future. I can almost hear them clicking and crying for a worm or a grasshopper to silence their stomachs. The apocalyptic light cloaks this beautiful event to be but transforms as it passes through those cracked, stalk-like blinds.
Those damn blinds.
Each one carries a reflection of my anger, pain, confusion, immaturity, and perhaps failure. Dangling reminders of what must be done.
I know the day is going to throb with pain when the light melts on my porch’s fence in a certain way. The latter means I have slept too long, inevitably leading to an overabundance of scorched dreams. Like a corpse, my bloodshot eyes choke with tears, maintaining a lifeless stare at a large petrified beam that shoots across the ceiling of this small studio we call home; another reminder of my failure. When the light licks the ceiling in this way, I can see the difference between the Mocha Almond hue on the ceiling, and how it is separate from the brilliant white plank that shoots across the heavens like an erect wrist bone.
I wonder, does heaven have a ceiling, or will I only see the bottom of my calloused feet when I peer upward?
When I stare at this beam, a humorous memory fondly rekindles itself, breaking the dense fog in my head. A silly mistake that, at the time, tugged at patience, but faded into laughter.
It had been an arbor, a large structure gorgeous and bright, that our collective labor concocted. So much diligent time had been rendered, and so much trial and error occurred, but finally, this job was done. We were at the end, spilling the final cans of white finish on its surface. When it was done, and as my over-sized boots gallantly stood atop the structure, victory was present, and for that moment, I felt like a king. Hell, the whole crew felt like kings. That day, my friends, we were a crew of kings!
But time brought mishap. Our final coat—only recommended for certain limbs of this arbor—shared a different tale the following week. When we came back to grab our tools a few suns later, our mistake smacked us in the face. The once tree, now an arbor in a millionaire’s backyard, was all kinds of fucked when if one were to observe the color. At the time of application, the tints of white were almost exact. I guess we should have read the labels, huh? Upon our return, and as the crisp blue heavens shone through the brackets above, we saw our ceiling—the beam and the planks—as the final touches were erroneously done with a Mocha Almond finish, opposed to the pure white paint we had been previously using.
The difference in colors was broadly obvious, and the blatant disconnection of coloring correlated to our current situation. Us, the poor washed up workers, and them, the wealthy middle-aged millionaires who called that backyard theirs.
Them, the looming royal white.
Us, the sawdust speckled Mocha Almond.
We bought some Micheladas to aid in the mistake, to refresh our parched patience and cloud our screaming minds. Good times…
Amidst most present mornings, I find myself on the brink of destruction. Crumbling life at the tips of my own fingers, the darkness I must bestow on myself to dodge the sadness that persistently rolls over plains in my skull; shaking the landscape like the quaking earth. But now when I attempt to hide from the world under my sweating sheets, this luminous beam on my ceiling shows me something different than depression.
Now, I just see Mocha Almond…
…and I laugh.
Time to wake up.