Rooms

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"It was memorable for a reason nobody could explain …"

Bradford and Hillary Keeney speak of Rooms. Should I feel constrained in the present room, I might simply move to a larger room, one capable of properly containing me. Likewise, should a room feel too roomy, I might move to a room more suited to my size. Bradford and Hillary speak metaphorically, of course, but I've been feeling overly unconstrained lately, as if my present room were considerably larger than necessary, than appropriate for my present endeavors. I feel as though I cannot fill the rooms I enter these days, as if each one had been designed to contain a larger person, a much larger personality than I bring to my game, for I hold humbled aspirations now. I no longer aspire to achieve greater things, but lately acknowledge that my accomplished achievements might well mark the high water mark of my career and my life. I understand and accept that our universe continually expands, but I find this a poor excuse to mimic it. I ain't no universe.

Or, rather, I ain't no large-infinity universe.
My infinity seems more contained, one best served constrained, with necessarily limited scope and reach. The sky might remain my natural limit, but my sky extends between rather modest horizons and rarely aspires beyond. It revels in its own bounded solitude, its own space for its own sake, and never pretends to extend very far into anyone else's business. My room seems rather small and spartan, lightly furnished and convenient to keep. It rarely seeks to extend its boundaries, but sometimes aspires to further shrink into itself, into successively ever smaller spaces as my aspirations subside. I never intended to change The World, if only because I never inhabited that place. I live in a lowercase my world, with little light shining out its windows.

I marvel at those who, taking the stage, seem to utterly fill the space. I can then imagine no addition necessary to complete the set, that single personality fully satisfying the decor's demands. I seem to hardly fill the seat from which I observe that stage, my legs hanging downward barely reaching the floor beneath me. Nobody around me has even needed to ask me to please remove my hat as I silently cede the armrests on either side of me. Nor will I importune anyone in my row to boldly excuse myself to exit before the performance ends. I'm there for the duration, my isolation a significant part of the price of my admission.

I recall being up on that stage, of others accusing me of utterly filling that space, too, but I seem to have shrunk or shriveled since. That sort of performance comes as more of a gift than a skill, a visitation upon the performer every bit as much as upon the audience. The context insisted upon about 90% of the experience, careful staging demanding most of the attention to focus upon that all-encompassing spot on the stage beneath the klieg lights and even into the shadows they cast. It was memorable for a reason nobody could explain, in a room specifically designed to become memorable for a reason nobody present could ever quite recall. One of many Rooms.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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