A baby gecko got trapped in my screen door the other day, between the inner and outer meshes that sort-of pretend to keep mosquitos out of the house. (The screen door doesn’t fit in the jamb so it can never really close, so even if the meshes were tight enough to keep mosquitos out–which they aren’t–the mosquitos would–and do–just go in through the open door. But I digress.)
I don’t know how the gecko got in there, but it couldn’t figure out how to get itself back out so it just thrashed wildly in the narrow gap where it could actually move. The screen door is divided by crossbars into three segments; at those crossbars the inner and outer meshes come together, but towards the center they are about a half an inch apart, which is where the baby gecko scurried around frantically, casting weird little shadows on my floor.
There are other worlds somewhere, realms of other possibilities and outcomes, of beauties and wonders both familiar and unknowable.
The sun burned a blood-orange streak across the sky and seared a path of gold over the slowly rolling sea. Away from the light, sky and sea turned red, violet, blue, and black. The colors bent away from clouds and waves.
It comforted her to think that the waves receding from her would wash up again on a distant shore. In time the darkness about to descend would inevitably be lifted.
The sand was already cold. Somewhere else the sun was rising, the sand warming, the day beginning afresh.
Johann Sebastian Bach is best pictured as the bewigged and corpulent gentleman in Haussmann’s (hopefully) unflattering portrait. Very little that we know of his life contradicts this image of a severe man with fleshy jowls who made mind-boggling complex and beautiful music (look at the way he holds the paper upside-down: it’s for you to look at and admire, not for him–he wrote the damn thing, he knows it’s awesome) (also note how he doesn’t make it easy for you to read, because you are probably too stupid to really get it anyway).
Someone once asked him how he got be so good at music. His answer, in short, was, “I worked hard. If you worked hard you could do it, too.” Which is a bit badass but also a little snobby and probably not meant to be helpful.
By the end they were in her dreams, too. She felt herself taken along by a warm current, a tug that seemed to come from inside of her somehow, first playful but then urgent and frightening, and finally a hard surge that forced her farther into the limitless blue void. At first she felt free, and the ocean carried her like an expecting mother; then her throat closed in terror and her muscles from her legs to her chest clenched tight and the sea dragged her down to the cold darkness of the Leviathan.
Zolzaya woke with a start and gripped the sheets hard enough that her fingers hurt. She still felt the swells even though her eyes insisted that she was home in her bed. All of her muscles, even her jaw and her toes, were clenched.
She had to make a decision, and in the still clarity of the early morning she forced herself to draw a deep, burning breath and decide.
With trembling legs she rose from her bed and got dressed, not at all calm but still somehow reassured. Her fingers shook as she buttoned her shirt. They’d been shaking for days, she realized as she looked at them. Bones rattling under thin skin. She pulled her hair back into a ponytail and got started.