I am here to be transported to other worlds.
I took the 8 AM into the city and walked dozens of blocks north along the construction-choked streets to reach a tiny lot tucked in a side alley. I had to return. I am compelled.
Within, hang the portals—glimpses into other worlds, real or invented. Colors swirl before my eyes as I lose myself to each, as I feel the pull of each world’s gravity beyond the reality of their frames.
My feet are soft on the carpet though the aged floors creak below. The boards report my rotations in the room, that I have not yet picked the window through which I intend to fall.
If I were to choose, to go, to leap through and lose myself to the laws of the world beyond, I imagine the woman at the front desk would notice the silence, place a pane of glass over the portal, and mark another tick on a tally sheet kept discretely near her workstation.
My heels lift, and I catch myself leaning too close to the opening before me. I do have somewhere else to be today and can’t afford the journey. Instead, I shift my focus to the brush strokes and the artist’s techniques, like suddenly seeing a spot on a windshield instead of the view beyond, and my feet return to the floor.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.
(PS: If you have the chance to visit the Society of Illustrators in NYC, I highly recommend both the gallery and their rooftop dining room.)