I need to be blown away. I’ve been stuck for so long, I no longer know where I’m standing or where I’m going. It’s a hot day in early summer. I’m pacing around the house, flipping through the TV stations, walking outside, in. I can only hear it faintly, but it’s enough. Every time, it sets my imagination on fire, gives my brain a kick and my heart a squeeze.
Run, run, river
Carry me to my home in the ocean
Carry me away
I know I have a home
Somewhere far and removed
Like the stars that make you feel like you’ve got friends
Stars will make you feel like you’ve got friends
I definitely need to be blown away. I look at the hundreds of little houses that freckle the gentle slopes of the hills. Their white roofs, pale sides, green lawns. The gold light hits them softly, giving the small city a sense of peacefulness that I cannot seem to find.
Inside, I drop myself back on the couch. Dr Phil is on. This is what I’ve become; someone who can actually sit through en entire episode of this man’s self-righteousness.
An imposing figure is drawing my attention away from the box. It stares at me, judging me. Well, it shouldn’t be so smug. It’s old, rusty, dusty… it’s like an old bitter man who walks around in his bathrobe all day cursing people under his breath. How can it judge me? It’s got cobwebs between its corroded bits. I look at it mockingly, as if revenge from metal and plastic is what I need.
I turn away, tired of my silly game. Now Oprah is on. I can’t do this. Carry me away…it plays back in my head, over and over and over… I pace around a bit more. I go into my room, see the mess, walk out. I go into the kitchen, I’d have to wash so I walk out. I walk back to the veranda. It is a beautiful view, relaxing. It’s as if all these little houses had happy people inside them. Like no one else was stressed, over-worked, tired, tired, tired! Does no one else feel tired of the same routine? Of the ugliness of suburban life, hidden away by the dishonest colours?
I hear a confident but cautious thumping behind me. I stop. It stops. I turn my eyes, then my head, then my body—slowly. I miss a breath, skip a beat. My eyes pop open in disbelief. The old, decaying fan is staring at me with a wisdom only age can bring. I then realise it wasn’t judging me; it could see something so simple and obvious that it needed to make me see it. I close my eyes trying to reach what it’s offering me. It was so close, I could sense it, but then it was suddenly gone. I open my eyes and the fan is gone, too. I scurry back inside and shock stops me, like walking into a glass door.
The fan, this old, decrepit object, is standing in its usual place. It’s just there, motionless, behind the ironing table. Its life faded, and along with it, my sanity. It wasn’t trying to tell me anything; no judgement, no wisdom, just stillness.
I’ve finally broken: gone insane. A freaking fan was trying to tell me a life-changing secret. Finding no solution to my racing heart and bouncing head, I take a shower.
After a cold shower, I manage to convince myself that I could convince myself that I had not seen what I know I had. I go back into the living room. It’s still standing there, inanimate.
I go into the kitchen, desperate for sustenance, and begin cooking a colourful meal to calm my senses and my aching brain. Then, thump! thump! again… my heart’s in over-load, anticipating what I’ll see. I stick my head out slowly. It’s there, staring at me, again, with its huge eye looking at me in that way only an old person can. I decide to give in to my own insanity and look straight into that big, copper-coloured eye.
“What do you know? What do you want to tell me?”
It’s just staring at me. Its big eye suddenly blinking, quickly, as if to not miss a second of my shock, clearly moulded by my dramatic facial expressions. I must look ridiculous, like a damned cartoon, with big eyes and a big mouth and my limbs forming absurd angles. Suddenly it’s like I’m diving into that eye, brown, full of lines emerging from its dilated pupil. It blinks and engulfs me.
My thoughts aren’t mine alone, but wrapped in his metallic wisdom, first screaming, then soothing.
Ah, you humans. You live long lives, and what do you do with them? Sit and watch that silly box. You know, that box is evil; it’s a fake. It gives you what you think you want and prevents you from getting what you need. I have seen many humans waste their lives on these boxes. They’re all the same… all of them.
What does TV have to do with my life? I barely watch it! I’m writhing in a mental pain I had never experienced before as I fight to rationalise and justify my sedentary life.
Hmm, yes. Deflection. You are experts at that, too. When it’s not him, it’s the box. When it’s not the box, it’s him. It’s never you.
Then everything starts spinning. I mean really spinning. My brain feels like a sock in an industrial-sized washer. The world is twirling, dissipating, disappearing. Then, darkness. Stillness. Quiet. I’m no longer me, not in the sense I’m used to being me, at least. I’m me in my core, where you’re told you exist, but I am not. Not my limbs, not my head, not my back or my neck. Then, him. He’s all I can see: that huge eye glowing, youthful, peaceful. It stares into me, having no physical elements to hold him back. He looks young again, shiny, his plastic new and emitting that new-plastic smell.
I don’t know how I can see, or smell, having no eyes or nose, but I can. My senses are fully aware, as if waiting for a disaster.
You say you want to be blown away, yes?
Girl, you say you want to blown away? You say you’re tired of it all?
Ye-yes, yes. Yes, I want to be blown away, to the ocean.
Observe, he says, and that is when it all happens. That is when he (it?) changes my life. That is when I see what I have been wanting to see, what I need to see, what I would eventually see—no plastic box necessary. This time, all I needed to feel happiness was an old, rusting fan.