This unpublished piece was an experimental, discovery write, and the prompts of “Forest” and “Amnesia” were the impetus.
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by Mitch Lavender
The cover of the book swings open with worn resistance, like a door on oiled hinges. I go through it, into another world, to a mysterious place, where remarkable people do amazing things. I am alone in a forest, the green canopy diffusing the sunlight through the leaves, and the feeling of everything alive. I do not know who I am in this place. Not yet.
A vision of black tower in a field of red roses, but only as it is remembered from dreams and stories told long ago. I have never seen the place I am driven towards. This world is comfortable and familiar but also very different and dangerous. It is wondrous, like pyramids spinning on their points; so many tops, whirled with a child’s glee, endangering each other as they dervish about. The pyramids must spin, and through the door I go to watch their graceful chaos. I love this place – World Two.
In World One, I carved off pieces of my life and sold them to the highest bidder, or sometimes to the most convenient bidder. I gifted pieces to people who did not value my present. One day, I started thinking about it. I started thinking about why my life has any value at all, and why anyone would pay or want a piece of it.
Well, why does anything have value?
I suppose it is because it is useful. Being useful would make a thing treasured. Also if it is lovely, like gold or diamonds, or if it is something exquisite and rare, that would make it valuable. And so quickly, I had my answer: There is only so much of my life to go around and when it’s gone, it will be gone forever. My life has value because it is finite and it is mine.
That day, I stopped selling my life. That was a crazy thing to do, but I did it. I took myself off the market.
Yes, it was crazy, but I’m not afraid of going crazy. As long as I know I’m crazy, I’m in control. I can hide it, and I do. I hide it very well. I wear my suit of aluminum foil that bends the light around it. I cannot be seen, and can go through the door to the forest where I do not know who I am. I can stay as long as I like. It’s so funny to me that others have not learned aluminum foil suits make you invisible. Such a simple thing, I must laugh.
But maybe others do know about it, and they are wearing aluminum suits too, and I can’t see them. Of course there are others, and like me, they are hiding and going into their doors and they just want to be left alone. I certainly can understand that. I’m glad there are others. We can all hide together so we can be alone.
The door opens and comes off its hinges. I go in, and this time, I’m not coming back.
© 2012, 2013 Mitch Lavender