Spotless. Flawless. No tape, markings, or personalization. My office walls are white and flat in every sense. Slightly off color most of the time, I keep the lights off. Two green, sad, plants in the corners. A single origami butterfly on the left monitor, the only touch of me.

Lying on my bed one night, crosswise. Legs sticking over one edge, top dangling off the other. I let my head drop all the way back, letting the weight do the work, stretching, blood in my ears. Uuaaaaaah. And these walls drive me beserk.

The palest shade of green, I can barely tell they're colored, only the ceiling is white and that's my frame of reference. Just this expanse of blankness. It's more disturbing upside down than right side up, I don't know why that is. Or maybe I've never been as conscious of the way it leeches the color away from everything else. Maybe I'm just looking at things differently.

The flourescent bulb glares, it's so white my head starts to hurt, and there's no question it's the light causing pain, and not the way my head is hanging upside down. No question. It's the brightness, the glare, the blank walls, and cold, clinical possiblities.

When we were 18 and studying away from home, one of our classrooms was downstairs in a refurbished basement. Cinderblocks painted white, and no windows, and we'd go crazy, day after day, nowhere to focus but the teacher and blankness. We chatted up the janitors, found where they hid the paint, stayed late one day. Four walls - blocks of primary colors on one, mountains and sun and green on another, quotes and wisdoms on the third, and the back wall, we left that blank for the teacher.

If it wasn't 1:00 at night, if I knew my landlord had any paint, anything but this emptiness, if I could get myself off this bed, I'd have the whole room in a rich shade of red, a deep shade of blue, a splash of color, a cloak instead of this blinding, glaring nothingness.

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