Solace

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
It had been a long workday, the constellations and cosmos coordinating together their revenge on her; the news was too fresh, the business too overbearing, the managers too hot-tempered for coincidence. It had been a long workday and, in order to stave away the insanity looming in the distance (or at least she thought it was insanity—was it the sun that she saw instead at the horizon, blinding her from concentrating on the thoroughfare directly in front of her leather-encrusted steering wheel? Was this perhaps a symptom of her insanity? She bit her fingernails in rash haste while pondering this, her cerebral cortex in a fury and her eyes darting between the lanes and the sun, looking forward, looking back, looking into the mirror to see her pale, bloodshot eyes). In the rapid fluidity of the traffic flow and the thoughts pouring in and out of her fluttering lips and magnificent ears, she made a quick decision to go to the gym. The gym would relax her; an hour on the treadmill or the stationary bicycle might take her transcendent mind off of the fact that tomorrow her living torture would repeat once again.

She sauntered into the gym still wearing her two piece suit, holding the unwashed pair of basketball shorts that she found stuffed between the back-passenger seat and the door. After a change of apparel, she snagged the last treadmill available in the crowded, sweaty room—thankful that she was able to catch it in time.

She put in her headphones, clicking the button on her mp3 player that led to her “Spa Day" playlist, and she closed her eyes. Relaxing music flooded her ears. She was finally in repose. One step forward, the other step forward, back to the first step going forward…it was a vicious cycle of one foot after another, never allowing herself to walk backwards. There was almost a heartfelt message that she gleaned from the repeated motions that she kept repeating, one step forward, the other step forward, and as she kept her eyes closed and took a deep breath in, one step forward, the other step forward, she felt like she was finally able to breathe.

She looked up at the televisions pasted on the mirrored wall. The news was playing, muted, with the subtitles prancing across the screen, painting the faces of the newscasters with letters and figures uncontrolled by themselves (but really, they could control the words—they were the ones that said them. Is this another thought pervading from insanity?—she quickly pushed the thoughts away). The letters, strung together in her brain to form words, told her of imminent attacks on a city thousands of miles away. She watched as the language became more violent, as the expressions of the newscasters became more panicked, as the pernicious claw of the terrorists ravaging the city became more palpable. She looked down at her feet, one in front of the other; she looked down at her mp3 player, changing the song from a mandolin-filled zen piece to one featuring the cello and Spanish guitar (quite an eclectic yet oddly relaxing score of music, in her unbiased opinion). And she looked down at the time on the treadmill, the red illuminated broken lines forming the 48:37. And she looked down for the stop button. And she looked down at her feet, no longer moving one in front of the other. And she glanced upward for a second—not at the televisions; rather, away from their panicked faces and from the images of a town once standing—as she collected her belongings. And she once again looked down, closing her eyes as the blinding sun once again met her face, as the door slammed closed, as the newscasters remained muted, as the treadmill stood still.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback