I’m not here

This is not a rundown, weedy parking lot–this is a beach in the early afternoon. This car I’m in is my adirondack chair. These greedy pigeons are gulls soaring up through gusts of salty Atlantic wind. The coffee in my hand is rum and mango juice, topped with a tiny umbrella.

I’m here, but I’m not here. You see me, but you don’t really see me.

This squatty, ill-lit brick building is a white marble palace supported by tall collonnades and flecked with shimmering fountains. This creaky wooden door is a stream of cool silk flowing down from the vaulted ceilings. My ratty parka is an evening gown the shade of crushed pomagranate. That janitor is my chaperone. My prince is around the corner, one room, one step, one glance away.

I’m here, but I’m not here. You see me, but you don’t really see me.

This cold little office is not a shoebox of rats, but a cool forest on the shoulders of a mountain. The drinking fountain is a waterfall seventy feet high, veiled in mist and a gentle roar. These dirty tiled floors are soft moss and fragrant loam, last year’s leaves and this year’s bluebells. The shuddering fluorescent lights are stars floating in tree branches, flickering, burning, lighting the trees with green and blue-violet.

I’m here, but I’m not here. You see me, but you don’t really see me. 

This grey sidewalk, crowded with downcast eyes and knotted shoulders, monotonous foot steps and frowning foreheads…this isn’t real. This is a river flowing through rice fields at twilight. The cigarette ashes blown in front of my face are fireflies drifting on spring air awake with blossoms. The only congested traffic I see is the sticks and leaves brushed up against fleshy, vibrant reed stems. I don’t hear a fretting, grumbling metropolis–I hear throaty frogs and crickets, singing into the night, alive–and so glad to simply be alive.

I’m here, but I’m not here. You see me, but you don’t really see me.

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