Monday, January 11, 2010

Seeing for the First Time

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Demonstration" in Mirror Shards.

"Morning, Billy, time to sniff the coffee." She scurried into the room and stepped on Billy's prized paper airplane.

She crouched down to feel the plane underfoot and gingerly picked it up holding it out in front of her as she stooped towards the window as if the sun might heal its broken folds.

"I'm sorry Billy, you have to learn to put things away. Here, take this," she said turning away from the window and not quite looking at Billy.

Billy snatched the plane out of his mom's hands and threw it under his bed where it would be safe from his clumsy mom.

"Why can't you avoid breaking my things?" asked Billy as he flopped down on his bed again.

His mom walked to the bed, sat down, and felt around until she brushed his knee and then took his hand in hers. "I don't want to break your things, but I can't know where they are unless you keep them organized."

Why was she so obsessed with organization wondered Billy. The plane had been there right in the middle of the room and it wasn't like it was dark in here. The sun shone in the window like it did every morning.

His mom sneezed. "It stinks in here, how many times do I have to remind you that he's an outdoor cat only and not allowed indoors. How you can find anything after that creature traipses all over your room leaving a scent trail of grass, mud, and finch feathers I'll never understand."

Billy wasn't slow, but he realized that there was something different about him. He didn't have to be organized to know what was in front of him and smells were so inexact he couldn't trust them. But his mom and others seemed to depend on smells, organization --

"I just heard the waffles finish, get rid of the cat and come down and have breakfast," said Billy's mom.

-- and sound.

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