He sat in the dark room

He sat in the dark room and his fountain pen scratched black signs that looked like claw marks on the pages of a notebook found in the basement of his grandfather’s house thirty years ago when he was a little boy and his grandfather was a bony creature with a beak-like nose sitting shrivelled in the dusty patina of the most ill-lit part of the living room never moving always there as if glued to his seat or terrified of leaving his throne and every word every phrase every sentence every paragraph every page was an attempt to describe to put into words to delimit and contain the dreams that occupied his mind all night every night and crept or flitted around the periphery of his consciousness by day sometimes revealing themselves to him removing their masks to the detriment of everything else his job his home his friends his ability to do and see and feel and think a constant unease or inability to settle into anything a bad feeling tight balls watchfulness dry mouth occasionally nausea and the fear that he would vomit or pass out or do something else stupid in front of other people so he had to write it wasn’t a matter of choice it was the only way to stay in control though it didn’t always feel like that and he wondered if in writing his dreams he was inadvertently giving them more life not fixing them to pages clipping their wings straitjacketing them but feeding them nurturing them letting the awful wasted bird-like figure of his grandfather live on in the dark room.


This text is part of House of Mirrors, my ongoing collaboration with Viviana Hinojosa.

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