I live a make-believe world. Even today as dreams crash I pick up shards and string them together imagining the red in my hands to be petals. Fresh petals in autumn. I do not know autumns. I do not know Halloween.
That year I was in an alien city where they knew. My friend’s children had carved out the pumpkin. It remained on the floor of my room looking monstrous, eyes hollow and a mouth curving upwards in what was a wicked grin. It remained there for days. I felt nothing. It did not speak to me. Then the kids began to plan on what they would dress up as and one of them gave me pink plastic sunglasses to wear. I pulled at the stems to fit me. “Oh, that’s so cool, so rock star,” she drawled. I felt the sense of fun seep inside me. Was it about wanting to be somebody else? If it is, then here you are. I am Somebody Else.
Somebody Else lives in a house at the corner of a lane where trees are bare and the earth is cracked. In those cracks she finds a seed. It cannot grow into anything because it is so dry. She takes it inside where no wind enters and there is stillness in the air. The windows are shut; the upright wooden chair is as cold as a tombstone. She sits down and holds the seed and sings to it…hums, really. It is a long-forgotten song, a song about ruins, and in her clammy palms the seed turns wet and larger than when she first held it.
There is a glass of water on the table. She puts the seed in it gently and turns to go. There is a loud popping sound. The seed has burst, the glass is broken. Little pieces dot the wooden floor and reflect bits of her visage. She sees eyes somewhere, a nostril, the bridge of the nose…elsewhere there is some hair mirrored, each strand standing out like sticks. The seed has now taken over the space. It is an unremarkable round thing with an indented head. She picks up each bit of the glass and fixes it on the now-grown seed. Eyes, nose, hair, ears, mouth…she forces the lips to open up and smile a toothless smile.
And as she looks at it the glass pieces show her own image. She has become Somebody Else.
She runs out and drapes a cape and climbs the wall, a wall that is only three feet high. Clap-clap-clap. She bows as the leafless branches sway. She brushes her hands and the remnants of blood sprinkle them. Petals appear. It is springtime. The clouds fall and she has a fur coat. She sings, aloud this time, “I will survive”…hair cascades as birds flutter and look to build their nests in there. An egg appears. A large brown egg. She holds it close and she can feel something come out. They are wings. Just wings, tiny wings.
She holds them in her palm. They grow in her clammy hands. They are huge and beautifully transparent. She straps them on her back and gets ready to fly. The cracked earth is now covered with seeds, rain drops fall. She perches on the tree and looks down at her kingdom of Somebody Elses.