people live in corners people live in corners Writing Sample
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in a room with no walls, there are no corners.

(iii. a room with no walls)

As I stare at the walls in this hospital room, bright and solid like the sun, I think the only way to continue is to close my eyes. Together, dear Reader, no matter where you have gone, we can be together in our dreams.

Shall we try? It will be so easy!

Try to picture yourself with a blanket and a teddy bear. You are only four weeks old. Your eyes, like all infants, are still an indefinite color – a beautiful shade of grey. The color changes easily in the dark. And the eyes change even more so as you look around the room. This is because all around you are your dreams. You play. You have only a blanket, a teddy bear, and your dreams. You play.

Your dreams are the only ones with you in the room. Maybe because of this, you cannot feel alone. People – tall ones with larger hands – come in occasionally to check on you. They want to make sure everything is proper; they want to be certain that you remain in the room alone. Yet, even when they leave, you do not feel lonely. You are happy. You and your dreams play. There in your room, only four weeks old, you are more sure of the world than you have ever been since.

What if now, at an age, your color still changed with every shadow in the room? Imagine that your dreams could outlive their nightly closet. They continue to protect you past the morning. The people in your dreams are there with you in the room all day. They are no longer afraid of the sun. Can you imagine?

And they speak to you – all your old friends and stories. Then, they begin speaking to one another. Your dreams take this opportunity to debate amongst themselves. What if we make things even better? Let’s open up the room, we’ll tear down the walls, so everyone’s dreams might talk to each other. What a lovely sight! All the world’s dreams are exchanging stories. They all talk together about laughter and the strength of the sky. Of course the dreams would have so much to discuss. And, secretly, they also talk about you. The dreams want to know whether you are looking inward or outward. They wonder about the symptoms in your eyes.

iii. a room with no walls
iii. a room with no walls
You watch distantly the insoluble discussion of the world’s dreams.

Now picture yourself a step back from the room. The dreams are still chatting with each other. Again you are alone. You watch distantly the insoluble discussion of the world’s dreams. But you are not lonely. Just like before – remember the blanket, the teddy bear? – you are happy. And more sure now, sure of the color of your eyes.

I ask you to imagine this, Reader, not because I want to know your dreams. After all, what you see when you close your eyes will always be your own. It is something very precious, and it is the one thing no one can ever ask you to give away. May all your dreams stay silent.

Yet I wonder about the lonely people I meet here in the hospital. People nothing like us, these forlorn individuals who have forgotten how to dream. If we don’t feel lonely, why do they? I especially think of the Doctor. Why does she tell me she feels abandoned when there are so many lovely people around to comfort her? For someone who adores this world of eyes, it seems like the Doctor sees nothing at all.

She is not alone, either. So many people remain hiding in their corners. It is difficult to entice them out. They have spent countless years living in fear. But we should try, don’t you think? If you don’t mind, Reader, I would like to ask them to dream with us. I want them to tear down their walls, too. Because in a room with no walls, there are no corners.

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© 2002 by b.z.