Sirens blare. Startled, I turn from the corner of the room, away from the conversation, and head for the blackness. My heart rate heightens and I look for cover, pumping my legs, trying to escape the impending noise. The gravity tightens its hold and my legs grow heavy. I am anxious to run, but my steps are slow and weighted. I keep my eyes ahead and penetrate the darkness, looking for some safeguard. My thoughts are in a flurry. I am waiting to arrive; but there is no light. My pace slows and I pan my head side to side. Blackness. Why? Frightened, I look to retreat. The room is located behind me. My eyes stop at a celestial glow. It’s in the distance, a dim corner, floating in space, shining, like a world of its own. The human figures remain unmoved, still conversing. The echoless siren continues screaming. I want to yell, tell them to flee, but my voice is muffled. In a panic, I race towards them, wave my arms, try to get their attention. The glow remains fixed. I am not approaching. Blackness. It floats farther away. I want to grab it, hold it, save them, save myself. I am lost. I am alone. Anxiety takes hold. I begin to tremble. I close my eyes, but the darkness remains. I fall forward; I continue to fall, waiting for the crash, but it never comes. Sqeezing myself together, I curl into a ball to give myself some sense of groundedness. I try to imagine light; anything but the darkness. A crepuscular veneer begins to spill onto the edges of my world, slowly saturating my imaginings.
My senses tantillate and my ears regain their awareness. I am warm. I am alive. A crust breaks free as I peel my eyes open. I fixate on the bunkbed above me. My heart beats vigorously. I was dreaming. My head turns to the clock. A nauseating cacophony spews from its electronics. I hate it. 7:27. My eyes swell shut.
A body approaches from the corner of the room “I already gave you too many chances Michael.” A splash of cold liquid rivetes me in the face: my body instantly stiffens, my breath vacuums in a long inhale, my eyes shoot open in alarm.
“You need to get out of bed right now!”
My covers are ripped from my body, and I lay in my bed cold, wet, and exposed.
“What the heck are you doing! I’m awake already! What’s your problem!” I fire back in agitation.
“I don’t care if you’re awake already, you need to get your butt outta bed! It’s 7:28 and the Buscotti’s will be here any minute!” She leaves the room. I feel the folds of my face gather in disdain as I sit up. Ugh.
A shirt rests on the ground and I reach to dry my face. A white light fills the room. A dryer hums. Mother passes in the hall. I walk to the closet and find my blue slacks situated in the middle of the closet, stiffly propped up from their removal the night before. I’m so clever. I place my feet in each pant leg, slide them up effortlessly to my waist, and secure my belt. It’s braided. I loop it over itself and it hangs down a few inches.
A glass prism catches my eye. I pick it up and focus the lights rays on the glass with a gentle rotation. A rainbow of color projects on the white wall. My eyes searched for the convergence of colors. Where does one color end and the other begin? There is just endless color in between. Bored, I retreat back into the closet and thumb through my choice of polos. I wore white yesterday. Maroon? Hm… I grab a forest green polo. Slipping it over my head, I head downstairs.
I can hear my sisters eating their cereal and mumbling to each other. The clink of the metal spoons and porcelain echos in the kitchen. The cupboard contains cheerios, wheaties, life and kix. Kix. My parents never allow any sweets in the house. That is, until dad’s gone for business. Then we cash in: Lucky Charms. Even then my mom ends up picking out all the marshmellows. That makes me mad.