Je ne sais pas.

March 31, 2010
She measured the paper squares roughly, bending and folding bluntly with deft fingers. It was something she’d always feared, that one day someone would notice her fingers. They were crooked. When she pointed straight in front of her, her index finger signaled to the northeast rather than north. Her third finger was even worse. When she slid a ring all the way to the base, it only emphasized that this finger was instead curved in a northwesterly direction, contradicting any semblance of a pattern her graceless appendages may have had. It is a charming disfigurement, but alas, she will never see that.

Please now imagine yourself as a ghost. You are standing before her. She cannot see you, nor feel your presence. Watch carefully now as she ceases her examination of her fingers. As she raises her head, look just below her eyes. Do you see them? Yes, the bruises? They come from a lack of sleep and an excess of trying. By coming to this conclusion you may also see that she has done little to hide these wounds. You see, it is a look she has strived for. A hunger. A vastness she always wished she could explain to people. There it is, in those little purple bruises, all the pain and misery she has had heaped upon her, beating her down with waves of calamity, blow after blow of misery thrashes into her. Instead of applying any sort of façade, she waits for joy to return. Life will give her back the spark. She will once again be filled with the light that would glow through her papery skin, a life size lantern, scarred and repaired twice over, but a beacon of hope nonetheless.

Perhaps in time, far after the joy has returned, she will come to know that the straight path does not exist, and that sometimes one must choose northeast rather than due north.





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