By Pamela Kliewer
That’s my life. Day after day I do the same things. There are no variables in my life.
I walk to work the same way.
I wear the same pinstriped skirt and white blouse.
The same winter coat adorns my body.
The same floppy brimmed, light yellow hat covers my head.
I wear the same shoes on my feet.
The same backpack is slung over my shoulders.
Okay. Well, not every day… but every weekday – it’s always the same.
How did I get to this point where I don’t enjoy life anymore?
These thoughts go through my head.
I never do anything to change it.
My heart feels like a lead weight inside me.
Oooh, what’s this?
Wait a minute.
A spark of interest?
There’s a path right here through the fence that I’ve never seen before.
How many times have I crossed this overpass?
Uh, no, I don’t think so.
“You were just lamenting about how things are always the same.”
Well, yeah, but I’m comfortable with things like this.
It’s what I know. It’s who I am.
I’m irresistibly drawn…
Oh, what will it hurt?
I step off the sidewalk through the hole in the fence and onto the path…
I keep to my brisk pace… like I do…
My head is slightly down, as I really don’t want to look the world in the eyes.
Plus, I don’t want to trip on anything.
Suddenly I bump into something, hard.
I bend down to rub my injured shin.
I’m forced to look up. I see a chained off, wooden footbridge.
The rusty chain is looped around the handrail and padlocked, then looped back and forth several times around the posts with two more padlocks in the middle.
The bridge is covered with leaves and branches are strewn about. A rope is thrown across the middle of the bridge.
The way the sun is hitting part of the rusting chain makes it look like burnished gold.
I am intrigued, inexplicably drawn.
I haven’t had anything capture my interest like this in ever so long…
How am I going to get over this chain?
Hmmm… I don’t think I can step over it, but I think I could fit through this hole between the chains…
I look around. No one in sight. I take my backpack off, toss it over the chains, pull my skirt up a little bit and gingerly clamber through the opening.
I test the boards to see if they’re sound.
They appear to be.
I walk slowly across. Leaves crunch under my feet. I step over branches. I step over the rope.
Soon I’m off the bridge and onto another dirt path, covered with leaves.
This path and bridge have obviously not been traversed in a long time.
This is weird.
Why do things all of a sudden have the look of being an aged newspaper?
Right in front of me is the most beautiful rose. I wonder what its real color is…
In this suddenly sepia toned world it’s the most fascinating shade of white…
I want to pluck it.
I reach out to do so and a thorn shoots up from the plant and jabs my finger.
I look down.
I am horror struck. My clothes and skin are colorless as well. How can this be?
My finger starts throbbing.
Red flows from my finger.
This is getting too weird!
It has taken on the feel of an aged newspaper.
Tears flow down my cheeks, splashing onto my clothes and falling with a soft plop on the dirt path.
A teardrop hits the rose.
My eyes open in wonder as the rose turns into a unique shade of pale yellow-green with pink edges.
How long has it been since I’ve seen colors?
My heart is coming alive.
What a wonderful feeling.
It’s painful in a delightful sort of way… Ow.
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