Infinitesimal Isolation


I stood 1 floor down, miles from view. I took another step forward. My lungs crammed tight as they sifted through the zephyr. The cluttered backdrop of traffic roared across the city, blinking lights in my peripheral vision. I batted my lashes at the spits of rain that dripped from my brow to my temples. I yanked my hat past my ears.

The shadows of boats steadily propelled across the horizon. I looked over my shoulder but no longer could see the bench that I knew sat only a few steps behind. The prickled gravel scrapped my palms and tugged at my nylons as I stooped near the edge of the quay. I tried to relax my head on the stiff metal post that joined a barrier between the land and the water but my balance wobbled from side to side.

In the murky concealment of ripples, I thought I saw a fish or two pass by.

I swayed my legs forward, holding them still as my foot grazed the water. I analysed the seam that held together the shoes that gripped my feet. They were weighing at my pose, eventually anchoring my legs back down to rest against the cold cement. I jostled at my heels, nearly loosening my shoes enough to watch them slip off and drown.

The moon locked my pupils into a spell. The neighbouring stars cloaked themselves over the atmosphere, softly beaming their tiny flames around infinite possibilities that I knew had to exist. I wondered if they felt lonely in their infinitesimal isolation.

My fingers tapped at my surroundings. I pulled a small stone from a split in the ground and flung it forward. Plop. It disappeared. Ripples distorted the reflection of overhead branches that floated on the surface of the water. The jagged edges of maple began to dance under the moonlight. The movement gradually stilled, bringing itself back to blend with the silence of the night.

My eyes desperately skimmed through the sky. I traveled along with a plane that soared above, only to have it soon disappear into dark billows. A growl of thunder jolted my shoulders forward. I slipped from reverie and re-focused my vision back to ground level.

I placed my hand on the empty seating of earth beside me and began dusting away the pebbles to form a clearing. With my hand rested in place, I looked back up at the stars as if to flaunt an offering. I waited for a response.



R Coyle

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