November 13, 2010

The familiar blue ether of my office chair was enveloping my back; fluorescents wove their dull rods ‘round my optic nerves. I glanced outward, over the beige partitions tacked with phone extensions, office cheat sheets, and random cartoons printed from the ‘net, and through the tiny cube of window two hundred feet west of me, to the world outside.

Sunlight sinlight prowled jauntily over the street corner, and just beyond it a park with its pocket of vegetation beckoned. A figure moved along the grass there; female, barefoot, curvature silhouetted by the brightness. A well of ink rested in the palm of her left hand, and a pen sat elegantly in her right. Even at this distance I could make out the ink that swirled in its glass container; a strange tincture that caught refractions of light and spat them back into my retinas in multiple hues at once earthily natural and unaccountably alien.

She twirled the writing implement between her fingers, dipping it into the well, and removed it with a flick of a slender wrist. Then she began flicking the ink-impregnated pen at the earth, grasses, plants and trees around her.

Droplets of the fluid splashed against disparate points of the vegetation, and I could see organic forms erupt from the earth in reply. The first droplet initiated the arrival of a lush pod which swelled and unpeeled its husk to reveal a full and layered orange bloom, multiple leaves curling and undulating as traces of red ran through the petals like capillaries. Several smaller sprays of the alien tincture alighted on an unremarkable clutch of weeds skulking between the broad green leaves of a rhododendron bush; globes of syrupy moisture grew from the shriveled nubs at the weeds’ ends, and each of the balls of fluid gradually slid open, pink-irised eyes orbiting their pearly encasement and surveying the world they’d just been born into.

Blossoms and plants previously unknown to this modest island of the organic overgrew the simple greens and browns; some curling and clawing at the air like gaudily-painted and famished animals fixing to devour the pedestrians who strode by insensate; others, floating and bobbing sensually against the wind in an attempt to seduce the anesthetized passersby from their torpor.

Even from the box that encased me I could see them;  smell them; taste the odd fruits that fell lazily from their stalks and buds to the earth to regenerate progeny even more exotic and sweet than their elders. Time to walk out the door and to elsewhere, my mind said in between the words the whole swirling mass of botanical strangeness sang in syncopation with the afternoon air.


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