Return to The waiting game (idea)

Today is a waiting day. This morning, I wait for the sun to ease its way up the street and into my bedroom, for its light to settle on the sheets of my bed, for the floating dust particles in the yellow air to filter down upon my nose and make me sneeze. They remind me of dirty snowflakes that are out of season, but equally as beautiful. I watch from under my covers as the dirtflakes stack up in my room like a bad game of Tetris, soon creating dirtbanks along the molding of the walls and blanketing my desk, bed, and dresser with a pillow-thick sheet of eww.

I have no plans today. I have no obligations, no commitments. I roll over and let my hand fall off the edge of the bed. It lands with a quiet thump in the yellow dust. I watch as it rights itself and perches on two fingers, Thing-like, and surveys its yellow-frost covered surroundings. Lefty, as it were, starts off in one direction, pauses, changes its mind, and assumes another path, towards the tower of books beside the rusty headboard. With great upward gazongas and flying monkey swings, it scales the tower up several stories: novel by novel by memoir by autobiography, up and up and nearly falling and up and up to the ceiling some fifty feet above. And with a flying leap, it lands on the shiny blade of my fan, making it swing dangerously from above. “Come down!” I holler, but it lifts its middle finger instead and pirouettes defiantly upon the steel.

Disgusted, I kick off the covers and spring to a standing position. With my only good hand, I reach out and grab a sturdy hold on Geology: Rediscovering the Joys and Mysteries of the Earth. Bear-hugging the trunk, I shimmy up the tower as the dirtflakes swim through the air around me: breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, butterfly; never really settling. Huffing and puffing, I reach the top of the stack, and stand delicately upon Helen Burns: a fictitious memoir “Now look here, you,” I threatened, pointing my right hand’s finger at my twirling left hand, “you get back over here before I glove you!” Lefty stops spinning and for a moment I suspect that he might obey me, but this dream was quickly squashed. He unscrewed a light bulb from the fan and chucked it at my feet. Spwing! as it breaks upon the tower, a few books down, making it shiver and snake. The bulb splashes and spits thick down upon the dirtbanks like unflavored, uncolored Jell-O. The dust kicks up in spurts like water through whale blowholes within the foam of the carpet. “That does it!” I yell, reaching within the cover of Helen Burns and pulling out, hand over hand, a long pole. As the tower sways backwards, I lodge the end of the pole out in front of me, bracing it carefully upon the backs of the strongest swimmers in the air. The tower sways back towards the fan and I push off the top and vault myself over the open sea and bed below to the steel blades of the fan, grabbing the fixture for dear life.

Lefty starts and tap-dances and gives me a thumbs-up and I can do little to keep from letting out a hiccup of joy myself. He comes cautiously over to me, I smile, and he jumps back to the stub of my left forearm and straps himself back in. I peer over the edge of the blade, down upon the dusty, yellow sheets of my bed stories and stories below. I look up at the ceiling and give it a high five. Contorting my body over backwards away from the fixture and twisting around the fan’s blades, I dive. Front flip, side twist, back summersaults— all in midair as I fall. At the last second, I straighten myself out, hands outstretched before me, feet pointed behind, pajamas ruffling, I hold my breath and pass through the surface the covers without a splash. Undercover, I remind myself not to panic and not to let out my air just yet. I kick and paddle towards the surface in spurts, the darkness of the undercovers hard to see in, the flowers thick and hard to swim through. Eventually, I break the surface, gasping in rhythm to the sound of applause. The figures in the pictures on my walls and the stuffed animals on the windowsill all hold 8x10 white signs displaying “10,” “10,” “11-teen,” and “we want breakfast": a perfect score.

I half bow from my seat in bed, back resting on the headboard, legs still twisted in cotton sheets. The yellow dust of the morning continues to fall from the sideways rays of the morning light and the sleep clears from my eyes.

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