In This Room of Unenchantment
I thought that the panoramic windows overlooking the other world had been painted over. Or, even worse, the concrete walls of a banal existence grew together like steel kudzu, forever hiding the Wonder from me.
And so, locked within this blurry room of Unenchantment, the captain of my ambition and hope, the steel of my spine, was swallowed by ennui and anchored by lethargy. The kudzu overwhelmed the window because the captain peered out less and less; his eyes were perusing dank corners where rot is infectious. Where lazy amblers crowd and fill the air with the stink of stasis, where streams are brackish and all decay of the fruits of the imagination lead to no new growth.
Thus, my imagination, my raging captain so aware of that window began to fall away. He fell out of my head, plummeted from my shoulders, slipped from my arms and legs to splash on the floor in this room of Unenchantment. We became two, the corpse ambling on incomplete, refracted journeys, connected at the feet with the two-dimensional captain, puddled on the floor, mimicking the corpse like a shadow in the retreating light of Wonder.
But it was the recognition of that shadow on the floor by this aimless husk which lit an ice-encased flame within my blank outline. How can I see this shadow in the complete absence of light? How can I recognize my dissolving captain if the panoramic window has been completely overwhelmed? Guided by the frozen fire, I see that there is still an aperture of light steeling its way into this room. Slender, yes, but I can also see flickers of shapes moving in that other world! So I rush over to the aperture and grasp the closing edges with hands made strong with automatic labor. They are the edges of shutters, and the shutters give, just barely, but they do give. Although my vision is poor, I can see birds with wings that stretch eons beyond and I feel a presence in my ankles which I haven’t felt in too long a time. The captain has started to climb back inside the husk! I try to push the shutters back some more, but I am out of breath. I’ll have to push them open an inch at a time. I know I’ll get stronger, though; I’ll be able move them more than an inch very soon.
And I’ll open them until I am once again surrounded by the panoramic window, bathed in that brilliance, where the captain’s eyes are behind my eyes.
And all shadows are washed away.