Over Cotton Wrinkles

Marie Julienne Ente

I woke up face down to the mattress, my back to the world. These 11 AM rays taunted me, “You are late again. You never wake up on time.” I heard them not, though truth be told, I was annoyed at myself for scheduling something I know I couldn’t muster the will to accomplish.

I negotiated. Five minutes, though I know it would be ten. Fifteen. The weight of two opposing forces lay heavily upon me: that which nags me to wake up because I have to, and that which acts as magnets keeping my eyelids shut.

And they would have stayed that way, if only Yellow, Cyan and Magenta had not come in to disturb my overdue slumber. They enveloped my room like incense that I did not have to look at to trace them being there. They bounced from the floors, to the walls, to the ceiling, but made no noise. Some sense in me made their presence known to me, though it was part of some metaphysical anatomy which textbooks did not discuss and I did not have eloquence to explain.

When they bumped into each other, a spark of white formed only to instantly collapse into oblivion. There was no pattern to when they’d form and how brightly they’d ignite, but each one always seemed more animated than the one before. It was as if to say “I want to live I want to live give me time to live,” all in vain and beautiful despair.

There is bitterness in the awe I feel for them as I watched their birth and death. I have extended my sleep but I am tired as ever to continue this state of consciousness. It feels as if watching them half awake was the only compromise to my laziness and guilt.

Yellow, Cyan and Magenta formed more white sparks with every collision, all without a sound. Sometimes they gathered near me, sometimes far across the room, always jeering in some way. I was too tired to retort and to shoo them away, but I was awake enough to sleep no longer.

I pushed myself to sit up. The weight of my own body as I did so was unbelievable. I cheated by shutting my eyes a few moments more, negotiating for the last time. When I opened them, Yellow, Magenta and Cyan were gone. All but silence remains. ▪