A Story For The Lonely Ones (3/20/11)

March 22, 2011

I once had an idea. There, in the stand of trees I had been walking past, I imagined a door. A tall, chipped blue door. Golden hinged and handled, it was fastened to a stump. No one ever saw it, save for those who needed to. And that was me.

In my mind, I walked the distance to that ragged stand of trees. The richness of their colors stolen by the jealous sunset sky, I walked among the bleached skeletons of trees. The ferns and bracken stole the candor from my feet. The ground was damp and soaked my frozen toes.

In my mind, I touched the handle of that door. It seemed to carry some small power, a vibration, something there to say it wasn’t from this place. Taking no extra time, I opened it. Beyond the door was only the silhouette of a staircase, going down and down towards muddy orange light. So down I went, stepping on the staircase in my mind.

When, finally, I had traveled those steps, I found myself in a subtly uncomfortable place, too warm and  just barely too large. It was a long hallway of doors, each one only barely allowing enough room for the next to open. In the low and orange light of this ungainly place, small shapes scurried here and there, tending to larger ones, many like myself, but many also strange and unwieldy.

You must understand… In my mind are not whole stories, like series of events. Rather, I carry only the structure of things in which a myriad of stories may take birth. I will no more describe this place. You may already know what it looks like. Rather, I will tell you it’s rules.

  1. This place only exists for those in crisis. Were you to look for it otherwise, you would be disappointed.
  2. It exists solely to console. To prepare you for a return. You ought not to stay beyond your welcome here.
  3. If you stay too long, as are the rules, you become one of those small scurrying things, bound here to tend to newcomers. You must stay until your place is taken by another who has lingered too long.
  4. One of those doors belongs to you. It opens to that perfect place where you take comfort. Everybody has one…
  5. You may stay as long as necessary. Take your time. You will be cared for. Perhaps you even share a place of comfort with another troubled one. Perhaps you find new friendship here.
  6. For as long as you remain, your world outside will wait for you. When you climb that long staircase again, open that door and step out, it will be the moment you stepped in and, most likely, when you turn to look upon that strange door, it will no longer be.

Generally silly story, I know. But I needed it then, and I thought I would share it now. Incidentally, in my story, my place of comfort was an empty auditorium or theater, with the lights down low and curtains closed.

Also, in my story, there was a girl there… But that’s for another day.

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