Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Crease (Serial, part 1)

The world came unfolded and I wanted someone to travel it with. I tried placing ads, but I was sure that most of the people that answered them, shifty-eyed, cunning, and asking too bluntly what my interest was in the unfolded world, came from within the creases. They could not be trusted. Normal people didn't even acknowledge that the unfolding had happened. If they noticed an extra closet, an extra cat, or an extra, oddly placed element on their stovetop, they would scratch their heads for a moment and wonder how they had ever forgotten about it. So my strategy changed and I decided to travel with a child, since they always see things as they truly are.

I almost got hired as a mother's-helper at a house that was large and rambled too much, but then I realized that the child I was to care for came from the creases inside the house. He was small with dark eyes and dwelt in the corners of the rooms in a quiet stillness and looked entirely unlike his mother. I fabricated some personal family emergency that would take me out of the country for an undetermined time, and the mother said goodbye to me, apologizing, and looking furtively at the child. I knew she knew, but would not let her conscious mind acknowledge the truth.

Then I found a position at a family with artistic temperaments. The parents were musicians in an orchestra, a bassoonist and a piccolo player that had borne a single child nine years ago who drew constantly and hummed to herself. She seemed assured of her place in the world, but still drew things that acknowledged the advent of the creases and the unfolding.

"Why did you draw this extra room in the house?" I asked when we first met.

"Because it wasn't there before," she answered, switching crayons and not looking up.

"She's very creative," said her mother proudly. "But we would like it if you could tutor her in art. We're worried she's not progressing for her age. Are you good in art?"

The girl slowed the path of her crayon and I understood this to be that she understood her mother thought she was slow, but we both knew that being an accomplished artist wasn't exactly her goal in life. I felt then, that we could connect, and indeed travel together when the time was right.

"I studied art history in college," I lied.

"Oh wonderful!" exclaimed the mother.

Then we discussed terms and payments and responsibilities. I smiled a lot and I was hired to start the next week.