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There is something airy, entirely hollow but tepid during sun-bathed mornings about the northern-most staircase in the Audio Center where the teachers’ office and the thin, dark corridor conjoint--- something so airy that it is as well watery. Being there around mid-morning, breathing air, is being underwater, always a tinge of recalcitrant gold and blue entwining, like that one perceives overlooking a shallow realm of transparent sea.

Scents of newly-cut grass and yellow flowers drift from opposite windows in wreaths. As the light squares cast by late-morning sun brighter, their perimeters sharper on the landings and curls of golden vines brush shadows as definite as the shape of the plants themselves, it smells like a lake garden, striking daisies look sudden on the prairie, or a calm water body. I remain immobile against the handrails just for this moment, squint at the sun, watching people on pebbled sidewalks, their conversations translucently waft through like mysterious memories; it was as if I am dwelling in marine terrain of my subconscious near the water surface, and those windows my eyes to outer world. Students’ noises antagonize me slightly--- they are wrecked ships sinking down in mysterious bits and pieces breaking my blue-gold tranquility, and which I can never decode as a fish-like creature.

It is strange that the staircase cannot be more illuminated after the blue tinge of everything recedes, and vine shadows turn purple and blurred, as there are limitations as to how far one could bring the unconscious into light. The sun would glides side-ways behind other buildings, and mottled walls that gleam gold become flat grey. I watch my small haven grows bleak with purple. I hear people’s noises boiling louder and louder from the first floor and flaring up. Bell rings, atmosphere torn apart; and then almost everything subsides-- light, colors, noises, watery hallucination; except shadows creeping up from every corner.

I turn and look this way and that to the dark corridor and peep behind the gate that leads into the office. Those are only places where the shadows have been too heavy to switch with light and where the shadows are now awaking from; places that can never get over the cool mildew odor. I crane and look down into layer after layer of stairs and handrails, and the heavy grey (color of the reality) and a succession of footsteps that someone is climbing up respond. I tighten myself till I can barely breathe.

The footsteps turn out to be Mr. Casey.

“Hi, Eros.” He says “Don’t you have classes?”
“Hello, Tim. I’m just waiting…” My voice stop short.
“Oh, I have a class right now. Have a nice day then, Eros.” He looks at me with amiable suspicion. I smile back. Ruefully.

Yes, I am waiting for something. But “this” is not what I am waiting for--- a dreadful reality back to life in a process of light to bleakness, blue to purple, golden to grey. Rather, I am waiting to see if my dream can be prolonged, that, despite natural changes, would continue with “his” sudden appearance, whose office is just behind me, and that way, the vine silhouette, bright squares, watery images may consequently last forever. I never make it. He never comes to me.

“Thank you, Mr. Casey. A nice day to you, too.”

He’s already gone; whereas he never comes, as if he's never existed.

Inexplicably, I feel very, very sad.


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