It’s hard to recall a feeling. Notions and concepts don’t embrace tactility. So I chose to remember a face. Plastic skin, rotted eyes, and a human smile, because all girls with walking feet and turning dreams can grin. I guess the rest of my kind degraded these faces to premature deaths. A ghost with swollen limbs, a heart scratching against internal tissue, a person pushing time from fragile eyelids. Yet I saw very worried people under very happy facades. One blue dress stretched out aggressive arms. She sat against the frozen chair, little sick Cinderella, a princess with weak eyes and weak confidence. Her structure, her manner pilled by strings in an awkward way. Cancer, the haunting man with black iris. I saw him above cheap, plastered ceiling plates. He didn’t smile, he knew how profane that would be, liking burning poems and divine prayers. No he remained untouched, guilt was a distant image, not opaque, clear, nothing. He sat uniformed in grey stooping over a stool. Cinderella? Well she was connected by the back, the arm, the thigh. Every movement seemed wrong, like it cut the air in a tense way. I wondered if she knew the difficulty of living. I wondered is she cared, since concern, for her, sat satisfied next to guilt. The corners of the room seeped medicine, each drop trying to escape acrid trails. Needles rustled, I saw, he saw, the princess didn’t. She wasn’t ignorant, naive, or indifferent. She was a seven-year-old girl, transgressing the puppeteer. That was a feeling I can remember. Bravery is no notion, It’s real. It’s Cinderella forgetting a glass slipper, yet turning against the clock, laughing because she already knows the ending.
October 4, 2008