>It’s like what happens to a cut apple, you know. When it’s cut or part-eaten and just left out in the open and it goes all dark and spoilt. It shrivels and seems to die, as if it was alive while feeding you. Strange, innit? You leave it unattended for a while, and when you’re back it’s almost wounded, of no use but to be thrown out. Why would one do that,do you know?
>It’s like stepping into someone else’s head. Or maybe your own head. Or at least imagining that you’re doing so. At that stage, you block reality out. Dim the noises around, blur the sights in front of your eyes. And you find your flow. There, then. You can proceed to write your story, perform your song, take a walk down memory lane and travel to the future. And then suddenly, you are pushed back to reality. By a boy walking bare feet, selling shiny things from a twisted hanger slung across his frail shoulders. You slowly regain your senses, smell your surroundings, see the huts from the grilled windows, and hear the noises the train makes against the tracks and you sway slightly, in rhythm with the train’s motion. You feel the jerk when it comes to halt at a station. You can see people file past you, occupy the vacant seats around, jostling, talking, yelling and slowly settling down as the train begins to move. You start swaying again, the train racing with vehement force and your handwriting begins to go haywire on the page. You get distracted by some voices, and shamelessly overhear their conversations. After a while you lose interest in their lives and lies, and give in to the voices inside your head. And so it begins, stepping into someone’s head.
And it went on, the breathing fell and rose. She gasped, in bursts–shrieking out dryly. If she could have she would have rather drowned in ice waters instead of bearing the pain that wrecked her. He watched, helpless, slightly indifferent, yet hurting. He tried to find a place for that feeling, for the person in front of him.
It rained heavily around them, she was growing pale and the woods looked a dark slithery green. Like velvet moss. The sky above was like the ocean, white clouds foaming and churning. The picture was silent, heavy with dry ache. There was a storm halfway, the needles swaying to the right. There was golden light around them. The frame was intricate, heavy with gold and wood.
The door opened and she peeped in. A hesitant smile on her face, enquiring. He looked back, eyes laden with exhaustion. As if he had stared at the sun for hours from under the sea. Something was getting in his way and he was going blind. She closed the door behind, gave one last look, waiting for a nod, or a blink, but none came and after a while he could only see her back from the corner of his eye.
He got up with sudden rage, and threw whatever he had been holding at the wall. He ripped the sheets out and tore them. He peeled off the posters stuck to the wall. As he reached the windows, he pulled the curtains down and shook the grilles. He seemed to be trying to bend the bars and go after something. Something flying, just outside. He screamed threateningly at the sky outside. The music that blared from within the room sounded like a war cry heralding the arrival of the bravest armies. The music rose higher, and he recoiled, as if stung by hot light. He was retreating, and rays seemed to be feasting on him, fraying him.
He was falling, lightly, as if through space, with a small cry just hanging over his face. His eyes seemed to roll back into his head. He was disappearing into the golden light and silence fell, like dust on furniture.
The gilded frame kept the light trapped on its borders. The sky was violent, like a woman in labor. It poured on, making the canvas look as if someone had splashed water on it in delirious anger. The tall trees seemed to be blurring at the edges. That blur seen enveloping ghosts.
She lay there on his knees, her legs spread at an odd angle on the ground. Her face was a mirror reflecting some horrible poison’s flow through her. His head was bent, an indecipherable expression on his face marked by the creases on his forehead. His hand held her neck delicately while his other hand is on her face. Her hands were clutching on to his brown shirt. They were locked in that hush of time.
There was noise outside, a wave of voices crashing at the golden sand. People moved from one frame to the next. Whispering loudly amongst themselves, telling the other what the painting meant.
“It is as if I’m looking out of a window into some other world, it’s so real”, said the old man.
Jane looked at him with exasperation that comes from hearing such things eighty times a day. If it was another world, it wouldn’t be a reality she thought.
“Well, paintings do have a life of their own.” With that she shoved her tour group on to the next work of art.
This time it was a bride dressed in red with a goat playing a violin floating in blue.