May 1, 2010
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Step by step, I walk down a dirt trail in the middle of nowhere. Silence fills my ears and my eyes look down at the ground. The air is chilly and finds its way through my thin light blue cardigan. With each step, I hear the terrible crunch of the dead thin brown and orange corpses that were once the green ornaments of the tall, unmoving wise ones of the forest. The wise ones follow me with their invisible eyes, seeing my back hunched over and eyes that are cast down.

I’ve been down this trail many times, walking towards happiness, walking towards answers, or sometimes, just to walk. I never find what I am looking for. Half way through, I always stop, and turn around back to my prison. My prison that smells of cinnamon and is to clean and has wide open windows and pictures of smiling people on the walls and perfect wooden floors to match the perfect wallpaper that match the perfect kitchen counters that match the perfect cabinets and dining table and chairs. This perfect place that makes me insane drives me out.

I’ve never thought much of the trail; it’s just another place to go. I live with no one; I have no one. I have no neighbors; I have no pets; just me and the wise ones and the dead corpses and the dirty winding snake that leads me nowhere. Nowhere.

I stop my steps, and dare to lift my eyes. I look at the sky that is gray. I stare for a long time, at nothing but a gray canvas, trying to find the beauty in such a simple thing. It means nothing to me.

I look to my right, towards the army of wise ones, staring at me again. Never have I stared back; but today is different. I walk towards it, slowly, with my arm outstretched towards it. My finger tips touch the winkled hard skin of the wise one as a gust of wind shakes its bare arms. These wise ones know so much, they have seen so much. They know answers. Sometimes, I think they know more about me than I do myself.

I turn around, and slowly slid down against the wise one to the ground, and sit there staring at my hands. The hands that used to create, the hands that used to touch and feel, the hands that held my sisters hands. These hands now don’t feel anything; don’t hold anything.

A ray of warm yellow comes down in front of me. I look at it, then look up to the canvas again. It is still gray, though it has a bit more color in it. The artist of the painting is working. The gray slowly moves with his strokes, and more blue seems to appear. In the upper left corner, a circular form of the same yellow color as the ray appears slowly, and is feathered out towards the blue. It hurts to look at, and I go back to the ray. As I stare, something unusual happens. My mind seems to wake up, and thoughts fill my head. Maybe simple things are a little more complex than I thought.

I stand up quickly, and start to jog back towards my house. The muscles in my face seem to be doing something unfamiliar; my mouth turns upright, and I realize that I am actually smiling. Smiling? Smiling! As I jog, the wise ones seem to smile as well, their tough skin cracking. The corpses don’t seem as dead as they were as the begin to blow towards the edge of the trail.

I am at the end of the trail, and I see the back door to my perfect house. My house, not my prison. I open the door, and walk on the maple wooden floors to the telephone. I blow the dust off, and dial a number that was pushed to the back of my mind many years ago.

After the third ring, a voice answers.

“Hello?” says the familiar voice.

I stay still, my mouth frozen.

“Hello? Who is this?” The voice ask.

“Stacie, it’s me.” I say, finally.

I hear a sob, and a conversation starts to begin.

I never thought the trail to nowhere would lead me back to my life, back to what I loved, back to my sister. Thank you, great artist, for painting my epiphany.

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