Patterns of Paper

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He had always felt betrayed, as though he was a cruel joke in the eyes of his creator. He vaguely remembered the man, an older gentleman with a scraggly beard growing out of a patch of wrinkles, whose hair would shed loose strands, whose eyes often sighed and sunk deep into the recesses of his forehead, whose lips often faced downward, as though a sliced cantaloupe was turned on its upside and twisted and compressed. He owes his terrible fate to his creator and to his creator alone.

And as he sat among his friends, alone and silent, he whimpered inaudibly, trivially. He stood erect, sore of remaining still for so long. He saw his friends leave and return, shorter, more aged, wiser. Why were they not tortured? Why did he alone experience the tempest of ridicule, the cycle of hate, the circle of abuse that had laden his life since the inception? His life had never been idyllic, never exhilarating. And he envied his friends, he cursed his creator, he prayed for attention. He desired to be touched, to be held once, to be caressed softly. He heard his friends chatting about it with effortless equanimity; he heard their caustic, tongue-in-cheek comments he knew were directed towards him. How wonderful it was to be held, how unforgettable the warmth of a human hand felt to them. And he stood there, strong and tall as a soldier; mute, juxtaposed to his gregarious friends. He hated this lack of genuine camaraderie.

He despised life until the fateful day, the one day when he had his first human contact. And it wasn't a false alarm, like he was picked up accidentally, or pushed aside to grab one of his friends. Nay, this instance was real. He saw the delicate pink fingers reaching toward him; he heard the whispers from his friends ("I just love his facial expressions when he gets hopeful, and then defeated!”); he saw the gleam and reflection in the girl's eyes as she reached for him. He had dreams of this day: both golden, sunshine dreams and red, hot fiery nightmares, in anticipation of this day. And everything was as he had seen it in the best of nights. Her hair as it fell from her face, the room around her, filled with other children, the sheets and sheets of paper. Oh, the paper. It was better than his best dreams. Drawers were filled to the brim and overflowing with paper; rolls of paper lined the walls and tables; paper on the floor, in the dustbin. Paper birds, paper planes, paper chains. And he couldn't contain himself when he saw the colored paper. There was black, and green, and blue, and red, and purple. And he looked down, and saw in front of the girl was a sheet of black cardstock that had an outline of a dove. A dove! What could be more symbolic as his first work than a dove? And the feeling of his head against the rough paper delighted him; he was overcome with ecstasy and euphoria as he was patiently brought from the tail to the wings–careful, not outside the lines–and back to the tail. It was almost sing-songy and melodic, the repeated back and forth motions. He was getting the hang of it, yet still sparked with elation when she adjusted her hands on his slim body. He couldn't stop smiling, overjoyed, smitten–until, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he heard it.

The sound. He had been warned about it, through tears and sobs, by his friends who had seen it happen firsthand. It was as though they watched a diamond slowly fall to the ground and shatter, they said. It was horrifying: so much pain, so much suffering. And when he heard it, he sank. He more than sank; he sank with a fifty pound iron hooked on to him. He went from such euphoria to such pain in a single split second. It was as though his life boiled down to this moment. This moment in time was the only one that actually counted. His life was in a vacuum, he lived a sheltered being. And his whole life of anticipation and heartbreak ended as abruptly as it began. And he realized that everyone was against him, not just his creator. His friends, the girl, the other children with cloying fingers: they had all conspired against him. He was alone. And he was split in two, snapped, in the palm of the girl's hand. And he was furious. As she rose out of her blue chair, towards the wastebasket, he waved goodbye to the cruel world he was forced to survive in. And when he was released and dropped into the bin, he didn't seem to mind that his life was over. He had known from the beginning he was doomed, when he looked down on his white suit and the etched words "white-blanco-blanc." He was cursed, thanks to the creator. He knew his fate from the get-go, thanks to the ostentatious acrimony of Jungle Green. Oh, what a tortured soul. But that is merely the tormented life of a one who is subjected to live in a waxy white body in a box until he slowly dies away.





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