4. It is not raining in this new place. There is no dampness to be found on these broad plains. The flat white stones at her feet rise up to what would have once been a ceiling, but now through, through, they rise through, until they light up the sky: her own personal sun, moon and stars.
I stand up slowly and look around me. For as far as I can see, there are grey cubicles. Each person in this room has the same look on their face: one of detachment, apathy and numbness. They are all in black; they hunch their shoulders like mourners at a funeral. When I squint my eyes, the walls of the cubicles begin to look like tombstones. If this were a circus, I would put clown noses on everyone, and when the next person came to tell me in a condescending manner to do more, work harder, and ask me what my name was again, I would stare at their red nose and smile. They could talk and talk, but this would be my ring, my circus, and no sound would come out of their mouth while they existed to dampen the joy of my vibrant world.
I begin to imagine what would happen if I just left. If I ran away, if I did cartwheels along the linoleum and shouted incomprehensible words like “horannajibbilitate!” and “interfloobaboolator!” I wonder why I stay- why anyone stays. We are all the same, on the outside: we dress the same, and so we look the same. When we speak at all, we speak the same. Yet on the inside I am a bubbling and frothing mess, with a thousand absurd thoughts fighting to be released with wild abandon into the world with no care for the consequences. I have learned to push my wild self into its own compartment, into another world for me to escape to and dream about when my own world gets too much to bear. Looking around this office, I wonder why I fight at all to stay. I wonder, too, whether anyone else dreams the same wild dreams, whether anyone else thinks their own wild thoughts.
I allow myself one moment, just one moment I say, to imagine myself leaving. You can’t see the sky from in here, I reason. A life without sky, without sun, moon and stars, is a life without day, night, and without magic. It is a life without wonder and joy. It is no life at all, which might be why I – and everyone around me- looks like they are at a funeral. Our own. For every time I have to push a little of my wild self into another place, another world, I lose a little of myself in this one. It is a kind of dying.