Friday, 23 January 2009

Opening the bell jar

A little over three decades into my life I finally get acquainted with you, or rather your doppelganger Esther Greenwood. You, much to our collective sorrow, quit the scene aged just thirty. Forty-six years later I observe Esther feeding her wardrobe to the night wind and watching it being ferried off into the dark heart of New York. And suddenly I am nineteen again.

Wanting to crawl beneath the covers and become unrecognizable. And stay unnoticed. In a moment have a million dreams and then watch fear and expectation tear each one into tiny little pieces. Always inside a bell jar under the watchful microscopic eyes being weighed and measured up to some obscure standards.

I become like all other nineteen year olds who have the one thing in common. They tick the box next to female whenever life puts forth a seemingly simple question. After all the questions have been asked and they have been analyzed, categorized and put in their place; they grow up. And still everything remains unchanged. Even the air inside the bell jar.

Some of us smash the bell jar with our bare fists clasping for fresh air and watch our wrists blossom red. And so, depart. While others suck the staid air and go on. And on. Despite each getting harder by the minute to take breath. With a gasp I now search for the third kind.

(Afterthoughts on books: part 2)

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