On Top a Narrowed Path

Author: Jack Harris

It was a normal Winter morning in a normal town of a suburban teenage girl.  Alandrea spent the morning in her cute white home with some brick lining some edges and with her bedroom window dully carved out in the back left corner of the damn thing.  At the front of the Mediterranean dwelling, an entryway waved down with two radio-like waves off to the side of its path before the door; the first wave strong to the left with the second dissipating before a downward jot into the ground.  It was a normal day in the times of Covid, her father’s antique desk placed neatly in her room among posters of Jefferson Airplane and artsy marijuana farms.  

The dull pink-covered MacBook Pro lined her table, and her phone was ready for some old-fashioned text messaging.  There was gossip going on that a guy she knew had chosen to pee with the waist of his pants still hinged above his rear end.  That’s so unmanly, she thought.  Why does he not have the confidence to stand by with his pants around his knees while he relieves himself?  Relieving oneself of waste is the most sacred compromise to be in, and that guy clearly can’t deal with the risk of death.

As her head turned to the right side of her body, just one moment of a sudden sensation encroached her now weightless disembodiment.  That initial sensation was as if in a glance, not as if anything had been noticed at first.  But as the hours ticked, not by any form of the imagination could she hardly comprehend that one single sensation over and over; she had to sink into her left side to justify exactly what that was.  There was no pressure to think about it, it was just on her mind.  Over and over, she could not help but wonder about it: nothing ticked or went by, in fact everything happened all at once.  It was not even magical, or fascinating. It wasn’t even something.

Her work now started in 10 minutes, she had to be gone.  The hours ticking but not felt, she arrived exactly on time, dressed.  Work was normal and her performance was one of her best.  Of all the times she chopped lettuce, washed dishes, and cleaned the area, this time she wasn’t fast but only efficient, merely appearing to put the “fast” in fast food—she felt nothing at all.  She left her phone at home that was unduly supplied for her on top of a washing machine of all places.  It ticked as the hours went by, and Alandrea too ticked along with her colleagues’ working.  However, unlike her colleagues, Alandrea was bypassing time, not considering what was on her mind but on her breath.

Her heated car provided newly-found rest, giving her time to think about absolutely nothing but the present moment as she rode home to her spot in her home’s brick-lined driveway with her favorite songs playing.  She came upon that entryway that jotted down, being reminded of the memory from childhood when she thought that the right side jotted forever into the ground.  She returned once again to imagining beings that inhabit the bottom of that fanciful arch which reaches down to the center of the Earth, where they were chilling and drinking tea.  It all made sense.  

She came upon the home door, a little mystery eeped out of her imagination.  This time it was distressing, just a little bit, enough to be intriguing.  That feeling of being weightless, sometimes she would talk about it among friends smoking weed or also while fantasizing flying, being unfelt to the elements.  It’s what she wanted but never thought about obtaining, at least not in this way.  Her work shoes had to be taken off at the entryway.  She stepped up the beige carpeted stairs eerily unafraid but suspicious of a feeling that absolutely anything could happen.  

Her room came into view all at once.  There was the bed where she lost her virginity.  There was the desk from where she caught her father checking out her ass for the first and only time.  Now she sat at that desk, at the vantage point of looking into her childhood, the thoughts of her childhood, everything being so magical.  The despair, the weeping, it was all a distraction from what really was.  She knew it.

Without changing clothes, Alandrea went for a walk to clear her mind.  She chose a path least taken to her knowledge; her neck arched and phone in hand the entire time.  She looked to her right side to cross the street when the sensation came back then rolled away as she worried about her footing.  This time she did not try to rationalize the episode but kept on walking with the phone in hand and neck arched.  She walked for about two miles when she came across an abandoned golf course.  She had been there many times and did not care that this route least taken, according to her knowledge, had led her to the same spot as tens of times before.  Life comes into the picture at an abandoned golf course because years of pesticide usage fight off nature’s resilience, but nature counters by just dying then feeding on itself again.  Alandrea naturally gravitated towards a hill’s edge but had no idea what was on the other side.

She sat there, on the weak slope of the hill, her phone silenced…finally.  All there was nothing, she was completely alone with herself.  She felt completely alone, wanting nothing to keep her company.  Now she was away from all the dictates of her memories, leaning on her left arm, her future being directed between thinly-veiled matter-of-factness.  With no balance, she looked to her right side, unconsciously, and was never the same again.  Alandrea tumbled down that sand-trapped hill as her left arm numbed then gave way.  Her rolling eyes aided a dizzy spiral to finally set up at the expanding blue horizon. She had landed in a canyon to be easily climbed out of, which was good, for isolation was no longer good to her.  She got up, dusted herself off,  immediately grabbed her phone, and then texted a sweet “Omg”.