You do not fit

You do not fit at the desks. You fit beneath them on the floors, the sidewalks, the murky canal floors where things pass by above you drawn by tidal action, or by the impulse to work, to repeat. Down on these horizontal expanses you cannot repeat. There is only movement across the unmarked terrain upon whose flatness you cannot find your origin. You inch forward, you roll over, you recross your path but never retrace it. Your path began at the sea so it must not end there. Nor must it end here, in a dead end, you lean against your reflection, your palms turning pale green, fidgeting upon themselves reflexively. They trace, lost against the surface of the desk partitioned into squares, curves and wandering webs into the moisture. The bare, reflective tendrils quickly disappear back into fog erasing from the closest to your chest out to the horizontal edge of the desk, against the colourless sky so that you cannot see where you began, so you continue to trace. The paths all sink away into a diffused wake, you are left with movement which you cannot stop or you will disappear. The impulses sink away. Impulses are minute, over time they affect solid surfaces and bodies, if the bodies remain long enough, if the impulse program is followed, if you can keep from drifting away, or falling to pieces.

The window opposite your desk is covered by closed blinds. Colourless dusty light drifts in an unbroken sheet. When the sun falls behind the buildings from whence you came, to the west, the empty room fills with a mute light, the suns rays wander through narrow alleys losing strength, falling away lost and dropping limply at the edge of the sidewalk, only leaning against the glass, barely illuminating the room. In the emptiness of late afternoon in the deserted shop, you place the grid of desks all facing the window. The lost light does not allow objects to materialize. The light from the sun falls here each afternoon, the same. You do not sense its repitition, you do not see that the desks are gone. You rise from the floor, from beneath the location of a desk and move along a lateral row. At the central row you turn to face the window and you move toward it. The intensity of the light does not change as you approach the window. The uniformity of the glow, the boundaries, the emptiness at the edges of the room hold you in place regardless of your movements and their duration. You carry a shell of twilight myopia. You cannot see the walls, only the windows, and only the light that defines the window. The manner in which you open the blinds, each time, on each window is automatically hopeful, for something. You manipulate the wand between your fingers. You can see your fingers, the wand against their blueness. Light does not flood the room. The blinds open onto the colourless sky meeting the sidewalk. The day is lost. All the colours of the day are provisional. You spend days flooding the immediate empty horizon with projections of what lays beyond the window, which you open alone and too late, wipe sweat from your eyes in a blur of fluorescent light, and repeat each action that defines the edges of your desk and the paces that describe the room. The sun does not rise and set across the edge of your desk. You do not fit. Standing behind the window your reflection is cut off. You see only up from your waist, above the desks. The legs at the bases of the desks are grey behind drifts of dust that have gathered ’round them.

In shaded byways, under overhangs for carparks, in the narrow space between two buildings you linger. The sun passes overhead once and flushes the empty space with light and warmth. Laying on your back you see the sun pass, or facing forward you watch the sky at the end of the alley change colours.

Your shoes are on the desk, propped upside down in wooden trees. The fluorescent lamp at your desk shines on their upturned soles. The wooden foot shape shows through the worn spots in the sole. It too is worn, unvarnished grey wood. Your feet have worn through the soles in trips across the floor and through the aisles to open the blinds. The light shows in each bead of sweat upon your face as you look across the shoes, out to the floor from whence they came, outside the door, stacked next to one another on the sidewalk, or the hallway.

You walk to change. Your body, left to the devices of the absent tide, prostrate across the tile in the deep shade of a shuttered room, collects dust. Your skin is dry and translucent, a fluorescent light several rooms away through the convoluted sequence of spaces, through which nothing can pass without faltering, and through which air cannot pass at all, tinges your ankles milky green where they catch the light, just laying outside the open door. You do not feel the tightening of the skin because you do not move, the sun and air do not move across you, you draw shallow humid breaths. You lay through days, the continuous dusk of the shuttered room. If you were to move after the long day, your skin would stretch in a dry gummy attempt to hold you together, then would tear, laying down hairy dust into the drifts of powdered blood that stand in the gaps dividing your shattered body. In the grey heat of late afternoon the conditioned air soaks the glossy walls. The fluorescent light catches the edges of beads of moisture that trace down the walls, that mix with your powdery remains and leathery skin turning it to a soft paste. The water level rises to rinse the dirt and dry dust from the walls, you are a slick across its still surface, only rising and falling, and drying again. You walk to hide from the spaces that remain still in the city, dead end rooms only serviced by the tide, which delivers to their confines despondency, dust, and still decay. You move because nothing else can. You wear away your flesh on the pavement so that there is nothing remaining to ride the tides into the backs of shops, flotsam of skin and dust beneath a desk, rising to open the blinds each dusk. The beads of condensation run down the inside of the glass, across the reflection of your face.

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